Monthly Archives: May 2013
I’m visiting Cathryn Hein’s blog today with a quick, tasty, and healthy meal for those on a deadline or those who are just plain busy! 🙂
Are you feeling the Friday love, Feasters? I am. Not only to my beloved Sydney Swans, THE best looking AFL team in the comp, take on the Collywobbles tonight at the mighty MCG, I have a gorgeous new author on today. Humorous and heart-warming women’s fiction in the name of Juliet Madison’s game, and does she deliver!
I know this because I’ve read her wonderful short story, Sisters At Heart. But Juliet now has a full length novel out, and if the raves from my writing buddies and multiple Goodreads 5 star ratings are anything to go by, it’s a beauty.
Take a look at Fast Forward, a romantic comedy with a time twist.
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Here’s a fun fact: if you submit to Escape now, you can be a published (or multi-published) author by Christmas. We’re working to an aggressive publishing program, and we want stories!
I’m going to list some subgenres/themes that I’m very interested in, but please note: we publish all subgenres all the time. So if yours doesn’t necessarily fit in to the list, I still want to read it.
Here’s our submission page: http://www.escapepublishing.com.au/submission
Why submit to Escape?
- Australian location, global reach
- Actively seeking risky, niche, or cross-genre stories
- Publishes short stories (of more than 5000 words), novellas, and short and long-length novels
- Small, flexible team, with the backing of Harlequin’s knowledge, experience, and professionalism
- No synopsis required! Just a 100-word blurb.
- Two-week turn-around guarantee for initial response
So what are you waiting for?
Subgenres/themes that I’m particularly interested in:
- Romantic suspense
- Erotic romance
- Historical romance (any period/any time/any…
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When I’m editing, and before I do a final read through and tweaking of my manuscript, I use Microsoft Word’s ‘find’ feature to search for the following ten words. These words can usually be deleted in order to tighten up the writing and focus on ‘showing vs telling’.
Sometimes ‘almost’ can work but often it’s not needed. Eg: With his sunken eyes and pallor he
almost looked like a ghost. An example where it may work could be: She almost slammed the door in his face. Or instead of that, it could be changed to: She resisted the urge to slam the door in his face.
Usually there is a stronger word available to replace the need for ‘very’, or the phrase can be changed completely to something else. Eg: ‘very sad’ could become ‘despondent’. Eg: It was very sunny. Better: It was sunny. Even better: She squinted as the sun’s glare rebounded off the pavement and hit her eyes.
When this is used alongside ‘to’, as in ‘started to’, it’s probably not needed. Eg: She started to get dressed. Better: She got dressed. Even better: She zipped her jeans and put on a t-shirt.
This is similar to ‘started’. Eg: It began to rain. Better: Droplets of rain dampened her hair, or: He flicked on the windscreen wipers as rain blurred the road ahead.
5. stood up
Remove the word ‘up’. If someone stood, it’s obviously up.
6. sat down
Remove the word ‘down’. If someone is going from a standing position to a sitting position it is obviously ‘down’. Except if the person is lying down and then changes to a sitting position.
Removing ‘heard’ or ‘hear’ gives the reader a more vivid experience. Eg: She heard someone call her name. Better: A voice called her name. Eg: I could hear the rain pelting against the window. Better: rain pelted against the window.
Same as with ‘heard’. Eg: She saw his face through the window. Better: His eyes glared at her through the window. Eg: I could see him coming towards me. Better: He came towards me.
Telling a reader what a character felt is not as powerful as showing them. Eg: She felt relaxed and happy. Better: She leaned back in the chair and a smile eased onto her face.
Eg: If she could
just find a way to get through to him, he might understand. Eg: “The shop is just around the corner.”
There are more suggestions of words to search for at this very useful site.
Have a search of your manuscript and see how many of these words you can find and change to improve your book.
Are there words that you often overuse in your writing?
I’m discussing my top five favourite chick lit books over at the International Chick Lit Month website…
My Top 5 Chick Lit Books
by Juliet Madison
It’s hard to pick favourites when there are so many fabulous books out there, but these are the five books that stand out for me (in no particular order – c’mon, it was hard enough picking five books, I can’t possibly put them in order!!)…
1. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella:
This is my favourite of Sophie Kinsella’s books… maybe it’s because I write stories with a hint of the supernatural in them too, or maybe it’s because it simply hit all the right buttons for me. It was fast-paced, funny, the character had a clear goal to achieve (find a missing necklace), and many obstacles in her way. Plus, it had a ghost! Not a scary, run-for-your-life ghost, but a wacky, annoying, dancing ghost! I found the interactions between Lara and her great aunt Sadie very entertaining, and I enjoyed…
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I celebrated an early Mothers Day with my mum a week ago, so this Mothers Day I plan on having a relaxing day of reading (I doubt my son will bring me breakfast in bed, but that’s okay because I’m not really a fan of the whole crumbs in bed thing!). I’ve been writing like mad lately, so I think a day on the ‘other side’ might be just what the doctor ordered. 😉
With the special day on my mind, I’ve been thinking about motherhood in fiction (which was the topic of an article I wrote on the Australian Bookshelf blog). Have you read many books with mothers as main characters?
The main character in my novel, FAST FORWARD, Kelli, starts out as a childless twenty-five-year-old until she’s propelled into the future and finds herself as a fifty-year-old mother of two and a grandmother-to-be. Motherhood may be challenging, but it’s even more challenging when it’s suddenly bestowed upon you!
>> I asked around about different books that feature mothers as main characters, and here are a few that were mentioned…
A Man Like Mike by Sami Lee; Want to know a Secret? by Sue Moorcroft; Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips; Hello, It’s Me, by Wendy Markham; I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson; The Girl, The Gold Tooth & Everything by Francine LaSala, What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.
So if you like reading about mothers as characters, why not check them out!
>> And now, the part of this post you’ve been waiting for – the book giveaway!
I’m gifting one lucky person three ebooks from my publisher: Escape Publishing. There are fifty books to choose from, and the winner can pick three they would like. I’ll be gifting them from Amazon.com, so before entering make sure you can receive ebooks from Amazon.com (ie, not UK). You can keep all three ebooks to yourself, or you can choose to on-gift one or all of them to your mother, or a special someone.
HOW TO WIN:
1. For ONE entry into the draw, simply leave a comment below and tell me what your ideal Mothers Day Present would be. If you’re not a mother, you can still let me know what your ideal present would be.
2. For TWO entries into the draw, do the same as above and also subscribe to this blog via email (in the subscription section on the top right corner of the page). In your comment please mention that you’ve subscribed. If you’re already a subscriber, simply say ‘I’m a subscriber’ in your comment.
3. For THREE entries, do the same as above (comment and subscribe), and tweet about this giveaway using one of the sample tweets at the bottom of this post. Include your twitter handle in your comment. So, your comment might look like this:
My ideal Mothers Day present would be a day on a Greek Island with a good book. I’m a subscriber. My twitter handle is @MyHandle
The winner will be drawn on Monday 13th May. Good luck, and please share this giveaway with your friends!
***THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED***
Tweet this post >> Copy & paste any of the following into a tweet:
#MothersDay Giveaway – books up for grabs! via @Juliet_Madison http://wp.me/p1jJti-he
#WIN three ebooks, your choice! #MothersDay competition via @Juliet_Madison http://wp.me/p1jJti-he
What would be your ideal #MothersDay present? Tell us and win books! via @Juliet_Madison http://wp.me/p1jJti-he