Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
And the blurb!
For twenty-five-year-old Willow Watts, life has settled into a predictably dull routine: days behind the counter at her father's antique shop; nights watching fuzzy telly whilst the elderly residents of Britain's Ugliest Village bed down for yet another early night. But everything changes when Willow's epically embarrassing Marilyn Monroe impersonation is uploaded to YouTube. A canny viewer spots Marilyn's ghostly image hidden in the film and Willow becomes an international sensation.
Her dire little town is suddenly overrun with fans proclaiming her to be the 'new Marilyn'. Egged on by the villagers - whose shops and businesses are cashing in - Willow eagerly embraces her new identity, dying her hair platinum and scoffing cakes to achieve Marilyn's legendary curves.
But when the only man she has ever truly loved returns, seeking the old Willow, it's decision time. Should she risk stardom and the village's new-found fortune on love? Or is being Marilyn Willow's real ticket to happiness?
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
We've a three-day work-week coming up this week, the Royal Wedding on Friday (another holiday) and then another holiday on Monday for the Bank Holiday. Have I made you jealous yet?
How was your weekend?
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
As the author and illustrator of GOSSIP FROM THE GIRLS’ ROOM, A Blogtastic! Novel, I feel so very lucky that I get to combine the two things I love the most: writing and drawing.
As a kid, I drew a little and wrote a lot. I proclaimed my career as a future author in 6th grade, but never in a gazillion years guessed that I would be an author AND illustrator of my own books. My mom kept all my drawings from when I was very young, so I dug out the box and got a good laugh! Now it’s your turn! You can tell just how old this is by the color.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The smell of roast duck. I really can't stomach it. It's a curse, because Egyptians (one to whom I'm married) seem to think 'God got it right with ducks' (a direct quote). Somehow, I can't imagine God meant to create an animal that smells like dirty socks when it's cooking...
Gin. There's a story behind that one, but I don't think I'll share it right now!
Bad reviews. Enough said.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
New Year’s Eve 1940: Evie Chase, the beautiful debutante daughter of an RAF commander, listens wistfully to the swing music drifting out from the ballroom. With bombs falling nightly in London, she is determined to make a difference to the war effort. Evie joins the ATA – the civilian pilots who ferry fighter planes to bases across war-torn Britain. Two other women wait nervously to join up with her – Stella Grainger, a forlorn young mother from Singapore, and Megan Jones, an idealistic teenager who has never left her Welsh village before. Billeted together in a tiny cottage, Stella, Megan and Evie learn to live and work together as they find romance, confront loss and forge friendships that last a lifetime.
As a parent, you get to enjoy those ‘firsts’ in life all over again watching your children experience them. First steps, first snow, first day at school, first love. As an author, it is hard not to feel the same mix of joy and trepidation seeing your first book going out into the world. Will any one care about it as much as you do?
To be published, to see your words bound beautifully and up on the shelves alongside books by authors you have admired your whole life is a dream come true for many writers. It goes without saying that most writers are readers first, and book lovers in the broadest sense. I can honestly say that when I opened the DHL boxes yesterday and held the hardback of ‘The Beauty Chorus’ for the first time it was one of the most amazing moments of my life.
So once the book is born, how can you ensure people hear about its arrival? Perhaps the most amusing advice for début authors is in Douglas Gibson’s famously cynical memo. The former editor of Macmillan Canada titled it ‘Don’t Look for Your Book in Bookstores’. Carole Blake helpfully quotes the memo in her Bible for new authors ‘From Pitch to Publication’ (which I highly recommend): prepare yourself for publication day (no one will notice it), reviews (there will either be none or they will appear too early or late to be useful), and friends (who will give you a list of typos in your book).
The number of first novels this year is heartening. It remains to be seen for how many this will be the first step in a long career. Perhaps as they prepare for their newborn books to fly the nest, authors should enjoy the moment and remember Martin Luther King Jr’s advice: ‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.’
If you are close to taking that first step, why not think about these five simple steps to help your debut:
• If you have a blog, make sure it is up to date with information about your new book, links to online stores etc
• Contact local media (‘local’ can be where you live, places where the book is set, where you went to school etc)
• Talk to your local library – reach as many reading groups in your area as possible
• Consider making a video ‘book trailer’ for your book using some of the amazing free software online, and creative commons images from sites like Flickr
Amazon link here.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Friday, April 08, 2011
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Monday, April 04, 2011
Ordinary Angels is anything but ordinary. With its unique mix of romance, mystery and escapism, it is -- quite simply -- pure bliss.
Saturday, April 02, 2011
Friday, April 01, 2011
Welcome to all new followers! If you leave a comment, I'll be sure to make my way to your blog, too. I can't wait to meet lots of fun new bloggers. To the left of this post on my sidebar is a nifty button that will let you navigate through the other participants -- thank you to the wonderful person who produced it (whose name I can't recall right now!).
Right, with that out of the way, on to today! I was going to blog about adenoids, but that kind of fell through when the analogy I was going to make didn't quite work out. So . . . argy bargy! That makes sense, right? Adenoids to argy bargy?
First, a bit of history: regular readers know that I'm a Canadian who has been living in Britain for almost seven years now and, in fact, recently became British myself! However, I still marvel at the unique vocabulary here, so different from back home. Argy bargy is one of those phrases that always makes me grin.
What does it mean? 'A vigorous discussion or dispute.' There you go! My A word: argy bargy.
(Also A: Angels! As in, Ordinary Angels. As in, my wonderful friend India Drummond's book being released on Monday! She's also in the challenge, so if you get a chance, head over and say hi!)