Monday, July 23, 2018

Ella Carey & Connections

Please welcome the lovely Ella Carey back to the blog today!!
The more I write, the more I realise that there is one key element that must be there if a novel is going to work. It’s the one thing I cannot do without, the one thing that propels and motivates me to write, and the one thing I’ve eventually found with every one of the books that I have written. If it wasn’t there, I would stop.

Yes, I think a strong story is important, yes, I think that weaving setting description is important for me, as is working hard to write beautiful prose. But if one element is missing, then the work has no life, and I just can’t write it. I’ve learned that. 

Sometimes, when I’m contracted to write a novel, when I’ve brainstormed it with my agent and my editor, it can still take a while to find that element when I begin working on the first draft. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen straight away, and I’m plodding along through a field thick with mud rather than flying, floating, in the way everyone wants to when it comes to writing your own book- it’s why we write, for the sheer, joyous love of it. It’s what motivates us- it’s the exact same thing I need when I’m reading a book.

It’s the emotional connection that I’m talking about, that feeling that you are so close to your characters that you can see and feel everything that they do. It’s hard to describe, but I have that gut reaction when I’m writing. I’m not dispassionate. I guess, the thing is- I care. It’s instinctive, not something anyone can teach me to do.

When it came to THE THINGS WE DON’T SAY, I felt such a connection to Emma, whose relationship with the man she adored all her adult life was pulled into question, right at the end of her life. What if she died not knowing the truth about Patrick? And as for her grand-daughter, Laura, it was easy for me to be able to relate to her quest to save her passion for the one thing she loved in her life - playing music. As writers, when that creative part of you, or the opportunity to create is put into jeopardy, you can imagine how distressing it can be.

Happy writing!

Ella Carey is the international bestselling author of four novels published in the US- Paris Time Capsule, The House by the Lake, From a Paris Balcony and Secret Shores. The books are published in twelve countries, in ten languages and Secret Shores has been shortlisted for an ARRA award in 2018. Ella has degrees in music, majoring in classical piano, and in Arts majoring in nineteenth century women’s fiction and modern European history. Ella's fifth novel, The Things We Don't Say, is set for release in the UK, Australia and the US on July 1st, 2018. Ella is working hard on her sixth novel. She writes full time. She lives in Melbourne with her two children and two Italian Greyhounds who are constantly mistaken for whippets.

Connect with her on the web:

Website           Facebook    Twitter     Blog

The Things We Don’t Say

A beguiling painting holds the secrets of a woman’s past and calls into question everything she thought she knew about the man she loved…

Near sixty years ago, renowned London artist Patrick Adams painted his most famous work: a portrait of his beloved Emma Temple, a fellow bohemian with whom he shared his life. Years after Patrick’s death, ninety-year-old Emma still has the painting hanging over her bed at their country home as a testament to their love.

To Emma’s granddaughter, Laura, the portrait is also a symbol of so much to come. The masterpiece is serving as collateral to pay Laura’s tuition at a prestigious music school. Then the impossible happens when an appraiser claims the painting is a fraud. For Laura, the accusation jeopardizes her future. For Emma, it casts doubt on everything she believed about her relationship with Patrick. Laura is determined to prove that Patrick did indeed paint the portrait. Both her grandmother’s and Patrick’s legacies are worth fighting for.

As the stories of two women entwine, it’s time for Emma to summon up the past—even at the risk of revealing its unspoken secrets.

Buy on:

Amazon Kindle         Amazon Paperback  

Amazon UK                Amazon Aust

Book Depository      B&N

Thanks Ella!

I agree. That emotional connection is such an important element when creating a story. 
I know I get cranky gets in the way of my creative pursuits.

How about you? Anyone else get cranky without their writing time?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Wendy Davies & Unpacking The Editing Process

Please welcome Wendy Davies to the blog today!
Unpacking the Editing Process

A lot of my writing friends groan and moan when it comes to editing, but I love this part of the writing process. For me, editing is my natural habitat so that might explain why I don’t dread it as much as others seem to. So, let’s have a look at what the editing process comprises.
It’s a three-phase process: A structural edit. A copy edit. A final proof read. Sounds scary, but it isn’t.
A structural edit is where an editor – or you with your editor hat on – looks at the overall story and answers questions like: Does the story make sense? Are the actions and reactions laid out in a logical and understandable way? Does each scene move the story forward? Are the main characters changing and coming to terms with their main issue in a logic and clear way? Is the point of view consistent throughout the story? Which bits annoy, or stand out, or need closer attention? Can these areas be rewritten or moved or deleted altogether? 
I’m not going to sugar coat this, this phase can be a lot of work. Even writers who plan their stories need to do a structural edit once they’ve finished writing the story. And it’s especially useful for writers who begin without a clear plan for their story. Believe me, structural edits get easier – and faster – every time you do one. And no, I’m not just saying that because editing comes so easy to me. I find it as difficult, if not even more difficult, as anyone when it comes to editing my own work. 
A copy edit usually means fixing grammatical errors (misplaced commas, missing full stops, wrong or confusing sentence structures) and spelling errors.
The final proof read is what you do right at the end of the process, just before submitting your story to a publisher, to a competition, or uploading it when self-publishing. You should find few or no mistakes, but if you do, you must fix them. It is essential to do a final proof read so you can pick up anything that the other two phases have missed.

Personally, I tend to do both a structural edit and a copy edit at the same time. This is probably because most editing jobs I’ve had don’t have the luxury of time or resources to separate these two into separate activities. The final proof read I get someone else to do. Or I leave the story for weeks or months so that I can view it through fresh eyes. When I do that, mistakes just jump right off the page. 
Australian, Wendy Lee Davies began writing romances as a lark after leaving her communications and editing job of many years.
Wendy enjoys cycling, especially cycle touring which she did a lot of in her younger, some say more foolish, years. Now that she’s older and wiser, Wendy is wearing out the bike paths around her home town, making good use of her amazing pedal-assist electric bike. She's also traversed most of the incredible rail trails available in Victoria, and one in New Zealand as well.
If she's not writing or riding her bike, Wendy can be found enjoying a coffee in some cafe. Or taking landscape photographs. Sometimes she makes cookies or muffins. She’s even been known, on occasion, to annoy her writing friends with long, detailed editorial comments on their latest writing endeavour. But don't worry. They get her back, tenfold, when it comes to critiquing her latest romance-in-progress.
You can catch up on her latest news via her website ( ). She loves hearing from readers, so don’t be shy about dropping her a line.

Wendy Davies on the web:
Website     Facebook     Twitter  
 Blog      Instagram 

Good Enough for Love

Renovating a country hotel challenges everything Amber knows…
When Amber Hutchinson inherits a country hotel, all she wants is to do it up, sell it and move on. The money she’ll earn from the hotel is her only chance to secure her future, even if living in the country never featured in her plans.
Local sheep farmer, Zach Wentworth always does the right thing, but he won’t risk his heart being broken. All he wants is to improve his farm and keep his hometown of Willow’s Bend alive. So, when he comes across a woman stuck in the hotel window, he naturally tries to help.

Sure, Amber’s tempted by the handsome sheep farmer. But she knows their sizzling attraction won’t last. It never does. Because she’s never been good enough for anyone to love. Without the hotel, Willow’s Bend is likely to die a slow death, so Zach does whatever he can to secure the town's future. But doing the right thing just might mean risking his heart once again.
With everyone eagerly watching their every move, Amber and Zach must choose between protecting their wounded hearts and taking a chance on love.

Buy on:

Amazon Kindle
           Amazon UK          Amazon Aust

Thanks, Wendy! I am slowly and painfully learning to enjoy the editing process. My natural habitat is in the first draft - those are SO MUCH FUN!!! But, editing is definitely growing on me!

How about you? Is your natural habitat the first draft, the structural edit, copy edit, or the proof read?

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

IWSG & Writing Goals Over at Tick Tock

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

Hi everyone! I'm over at the Tick Tock blog today discussing my writing goals - hope you'll pop on over!!