I finished the Red Edits! Phew!

Red edits

Actually, I finished last weekend, just before I went to London for a few days.

I had a list of specific things that needed to be done:

  1. A new prologue – this was the last thing to be completed, just today in fact, due to some inspiration while I was walking to work and hastily scribbled down between clients.
  2. A new epilogue – ish. It’s a page long at the moment, a first draft really, but adds some optimism to the story… I hope!
  3. Making the first eleven chapters more compelling – in the first draft my MC, Jo, has won a prestigious art award and a solo exhibition is part of the prize. This made for a lot of unnecessary explanation and boring conversations. In the red edits, she’s now just hosting her first exhibition, which makes it a lot cleaner. This meant, however, I had to search for all mentions of the award and delete it. I also squished a couple of repetitive scenes into one.
  4. Re-writing the last chapter so it mirrored part of the prologue – yes. And I think it works well.
  5. A whole new chapter just to break up two rather heavy conversations – just notes, really, at the moment. I’m hoping for inspiration soon!

As I said at the start, I went to London. As we walked down Oxford Street and turned towards Hyde Park, I realised I was taking the same route as Jo does in one of the chapters, and that I’d got a couple of fundamental things wrong (it had been a long time since I was there previously). One major thing was that in Hyde Park, she feels cut off from the rest of the city.

Peter in Hyde Park

As you can see from the photo, there are buildings – lots of them – in full view. As we walked further, I kept my eyes on the skyline and there were very few places where I couldn’t see any buildings. I changed the incorrect passages, so I won’t look silly when Londoners read my book.

So, now I’ve started on the Final Draft. This is where my method deviates from other writers. I have opened a new document and I shall be typing up the book from scratch. I find this gives me a better sense of the flow and the changes I still need to make, than by reading alone. I’m also able to add more words, this way – I’m hoping for 5000 extra, a target of 47k in total (but more would be nice!) in 30 days.

Have you ever spotted silly errors in books you’ve read, or written?

Do writers sometimes get your hometown wrong?

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Me!! An interview…

2uglwsxAnd, here’s another Where Words Fail Music Speaks author interview.

Don’t forget to buy your copy on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback, with all proceeds going to the Clusterbusters charity.

Okay, so today I’m interviewing myself… ahem…

 

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Well, I’m Annalisa, and this is my blog, so you probably know enough about me already. Also, I’m answering my own interview questions, so that probably tells you a lot too!

  1. Why did you decide to be involved with the anthology?

Kyra was one of the first bloggers I connected with, and the only one I’ve met in person. After knowing her online for about six months, she phoned me up one day and invited me to a heavy metal gig. It was an awesome night, so because of that I will always say yes to Kyra, because I never know where it will take me.

  1. All the story/poem titles are 90s Brit Pop songs. How did you choose your song title?

Um, my story actually isn’t a 90s Brit Pop song, and I didn’t choose it, Kyra gave it to me. I understand it’s the favourite song of her friend who inspired the anthology, so I feel very honoured that she trusted me with it.

  1. How did your story/poem develop?

I wondered why someone would be having adventures in their backyard as opposed to anywhere else. I decided that they probably wouldn’t have any choice, that their backyard would be their whole existence. So, my main character is someone trapped not only in their backyard, but in their own body as well.

  1. Does your submission in the anthology reflect your published work, or did you take the opportunity to experiment?

The story is similar to my published work, in that I tend to write about relationships between people, in this case my main character’s relationship with his mum, and with his neighbour. I also like to write from unusual points of view, to turn people’s perceptions on their head, to put the reader in a position they wouldn’t usually inhabit.

  1. Tell me about your last/next project.

If you’ve been hanging around my blog recently, you’ll know the ins and outs of my current project, but I’m not sure if I’ve actually explained the story. Jo is an artist who doesn’t remember much about her past, she’s haunted with nightmares about her mother and an unknown girl/woman who she slowly starts to remember. Jo takes a pilgrimage to her childhood home, back to her mother, to find the answers she thinks she needs to stop the nightmares.

  1. What’s the best thing about being a writer?

So many things. I like the act of writing – of taking a small idea and watching it develop, of random ideas popping into my head. I even enjoy the anguish and hard work that goes into getting every word just right. And being able to work in my garden, in coffee shops, in fields, in front of Buffy marathons. And the idea that someone, somewhere is reading my book and enjoying it.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? (writing or non-writing answers allowed 😊)

I want to have a couple of novels published in that time. All my books so far have been short stories and novellas, which I love writing, but career-wise, a novel is the next step for me.

 

Just in case this is your first time here, and you have no idea who I am, here’s my bio…

head shotAnnalisa Crawford lives in Cornwall UK, with a good supply of moorland and beaches to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, a dog and a cat. Annalisa writes dark contemporary, character-driven stories. She has been winning competitions and publishing short stories in small press journals for many years, and is the author of four books, Cat & The Dreamer, That Sadie Thing and other stories, Our Beautiful Child and You, I. Us. She won 3rd prize in the Costa Short Story Award, 2015. Find her on her website, Facebook and Twitter @annalisacrawf

Audrina Lane: an interview

2uglwsxAnd, here’s another Where Words Fail Music Speaks author interview.

Don’t forget to buy your copy on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback, with all proceeds going to the Clusterbusters charity

Today, it’s Audrina Lane’s turn!

 

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Audrina Lane, an author since I turned 40 (4 years ago) and live in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire with my partner Steve and two black Labradors called Rael and Lilly. I work full-time for the Library Service, used to drive a Mobile Library Van around the countryside and fit my writing in around all of this! I also love eighties music especially George Michael and dancing.

  1. Why did you decide to be involved with the anthology?

I’ve known Karen through Facebook for a while and when I saw she was putting this together I leapt at the chance to be involved. I also suffer occasional migraines so the thought of having prolonged suffering of headaches much worse than this made me want to do something to help raise both money & awareness.

  1. All the story/poem titles are 90s Brit Pop songs. How did you choose your song title?

I submitted 2 poems for the anthology and I just googled 90’s Brit Pop song titles. Scrolling through the list, I did a small shortlist of around 8 and from that got it down to the two that most resonated with my poem ideas.

  1. How did your story/poem develop?

For the ‘Road Rage’ poem I drew upon what I’d read about the condition of clusterheadaches. And for my ‘Disco 2000’ poem the title sparked the subject of the poem.

  1. Does your submission in the anthology reflect your published work, or did you take the opportunity to experiment?

I guess submitting poems may not reflect that I have 5 books published. I love writing poetry when the mood or subject matter grabs me, so with this submission it was the subject that created the words. I’m hoping to eventually have enough poems to create an anthology collection of my own work.

  1. Tell me about your last/next project.

I must be a glutton for punishment as I’m currently working on two novels at the same time. One is the sequel to my Bloodstained Heart Series about the evil, bitch character that appeared in my Heart Trilogy series – the fans of that wanted to know what made her the way she was. Equally they told me they still didn’t want to like her at the end of the books! It’s been a great, but sometimes slow project, as I have to cross reference back to my original novels and am re-writing the same scenes but from her point of view. It’s also fun to write someone who is so horrible to everyone else.

The other project is just at the editing stage ready for release in June. It’s collaboration with another author called Rita Ames called ‘24Hrs to Love’. It is the first book in a series of 3 set at the most prestigious motor races – Le Mans, The Indy 500 and Monaco Grand Prix. Each will be standalones but all will be romances. We each write as a separate character and switch between the two writing alternate chapters. This has been a light relief to my other work in progress and I have enjoyed writing as a guy!

  1. What’s the best thing about being a writer?

I guess it’s all the fantastic friends I have made within the writing community. I love my readers who are so loyal, lovely and patient! Equally I love all other authors who are doing the same as me, and have offered help and advice over the past 4 years. Being part of this crazy community makes everything worthwhile.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? (writing or non-writing answers allowed 😊)

I’d love to write full-time but just don’t think that will be happening anytime soon. So I’ll stick with saying still writing and still working enough to pay for the writing projects.

 

Audrina LaneAuthor bio:

Audrina lives in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire with her partner Steve and her two black Labradors Rael & Lily.

She is the author of the fabulous Heart Trilogy series,  made up of the novels Where did your Heart go?, Un-break my Heart and Closer to the Heart. She has also completed the first part of a standalone 2 part series called Bloodstained Heart. Part 1 – Passion and coming soon Part 2 – Revenge. These are connected to The Heart Trilogy series in that they feature the full story of Felicity.

Audrina really loves writing, reading, listening and dancing to eighties pop music, and watching Formula 1, and is currently working on a motor racing collaboration with another author. Her poetry and short stories have been featured in a couple of anthologies and all her novels can be found on Amazon.

Find Audrina on: her website // Amazon UK // Amazon 

 

What’s the point?

I’m a writer. I know, I’m stating the obvious here, but bear with me.

Sometimes, like today, when I wake up to news of another senseless attack on innocent people – this time in Manchester – I wonder if there’s any point. People are suffering, daily – terrorist attacks, poverty, living in war zones.

In my day-job, I’m a gym instructor. I like to think I make a difference to people, in a real and practical way. A small difference, to a small number of people.

But sometimes, like today, it doesn’t feel enough.

M.B. Feeney: an interview

2uglwsxWelcome to another interview with one of the authors featured in the Where Words Fail Music Speaks anthology.

You can find the anthology on Amazon, on Kindle and in paperback.

I hope you’re enjoying the series so far. I’m meeting lots of new writers, which is really cool.

Today, please welcome M.B. Feeney to my blog!

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m too close to 40, I live in Birmingham (UK) with my partner of 16 years (get less for murder these days), 2 kids, 1 mad dog, and 2 chinchillas. I’m not working (other than writing) at the moment as my youngest is still in Primary school, but that may change when he starts Secondary – unless I sell the movie rights to one of my books hahaha.

  1. Why did you decide to be involved with the anthology?

My friend’s teenage son suffers with Cluster Migraines and I know how much he suffers with them. I suffer with migraine’s and can’t imagine anything worse, and hoped my short helps even just a little bit. I also used it as an excuse to push me out of my writing comfort zone.

  1. All the story/poem titles are 90s Brit Pop songs. How did you choose your song title?

I’d originally picked a different song. The story was similar, but I didn’t ‘feel’ it. Then, I heard taunts of ‘there she goes’ and the song and story idea were just chosen for me.

  1. How did your story/poem develop?

As mentioned above, I’d started the prologue, but once the first chapter was almost finished, it didn’t feel right, so I put it to one side for a few days. Eventually, the darker side of my story began to develop in my mind, and I just went with it. Not long after I finished it, I watched 13 reasons Why, and with all the discussion about the show, I’m glad I chose the direction I did, even if I don’t deal with suicide, the bullying is still the main thread of the plot. Due to word count limits, I’ve had to end on a slight cliffhanger, but I will write the second part and release the two as a complete story in the future.

  1. Does your submission in the anthology reflect your published work, or did you take the opportunity to experiment?

As I mentioned before, I used the anthology as an opportunity to move away from my comfort zone with my writing. Mostly, I’m a romance author, and while this story does have a little romance included, it’s not the main theme.

  1. As a novel writer, how did writing to a tighter word count feel?

The majority of my books are between 10-30k, so keeping it short wasn’t a problem, but it will be extended into a Part Two.

  1. Tell me about your last/next project.

My next release will be a ‘bromance’ set in 90s London. It’s an NA almost coming of age story – with a hint of romance of course. It’s currently going through self edits and beta reads, but I can’t wait for people to read it as I had so much fun writing it. Took me back to my teenage years!

  1. What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Probably the creating side of it. I love thinking up new ideas – it’s so hard to find something completely original, so putting my own spin on a trope or plot is fun. Not always easy, but it’s my favourite part.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? (writing or non-writing answers allowed 😊)

Hopefully being able to pay bills with my earnings. I don’t necessarily want to be the next E. L. James fame and sales wise (although it’s nice to dream), but a steady and regular income would be amazing.

MB Feeney picAuthor bio:

M.B. Feeney is an army brat who finally settled down in Birmingham, UK with her other half, two kids and a dog. She often procrastinates by listening to music of all genres and trying to get ‘just one more paragraph’ written on whichever WIP is open; she is also a serious doodler and chocoholic. Writing has been her one true love ever since she could spell, and publishing is the final culmination of her hard work and ambition.

Her publishing career began with two novellas, and she currently has multiple projects under way, in the hopes that her portfolio of what have been described as “everyday love stories for everyday people” will continue to grow. Always having something on the go can often lead to block which eventually gets dissolved by good music and an even better book.

Her main reason for writing is to not only give her readers enjoyment, but also to create a story and characters that stay with readers long after the book is finished, and possibly make someone stop and think “what if . . . ”

You can find M. B. Feeney here:  Facebook // Twitter // Blog 


dav

Before you go, I just want to direct you to my guest post on The Bandwagon as part of Vikki Patis’s Cornish Reading Challenge.

I’m sharing my love for the Tamar Bridge!

Red edit hiccup

I’m still in the red edit zone, so no completed chart just yet. Instead I have these:

Yes, I’m making the grievous error of not just a prologue, or epilogue, but both!

But, let’s gloss over that for now.

My red edits have gone really well, and I technically finished them last night, after a full-on day of reading my own words, cringing, and occasionally being wow-ed.  In fact, there are several pages which don’t even have any edits on them at all!

I added reason and sense to some of the plot points that were somewhat lacking, and a bit of emotion where I’d forgotten to show it. I cut a lot of useless stuff, including a whole character (RIP MC’s boyfriend, but he was kind of pointless, and ended the relationship in the same chapter he was introduced).

Despite all the cutting – some days, I hovered around the exact same number, even though I was writing furiously – I added 2261 words to the story, which means it now stands at just over 40,000! Still too short for a novel, but on my way. By adding four more chapters, I should easily make that up to 45,000.

I swapped around some of the early chapters, but I’m still not completely happy. The opening feels sluggish and dull – but I think it’s necessary to set the scene. Due to the nature of the story, I can’t use flashbacks (which I usually love, so this is hard for me). Perhaps, when I get to the beta reader stage, fresh eyes will be able to point out the problems.

Big question: Prologues and epilogues, love them or hate them?

 

 

Clare Dugmore: an interview

2uglwsxWelcome to another interview with one of the authors featured in the Where Words Fail Music Speaks anthology.

Have you bought your copy yet? How many of the authors have you read before?

You can find the anthology on Amazon, on Kindle and in paperback.

 

Today, I’d like to welcome Clare Dugmore to my blog… Hi Clare…

Thank you for having me on your blog, Annalisa. It’s great to be here to spread the word about The Where Words Fail, Music Speaks anthology, and why we chose to support ClusterBusters.

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hey, I’m Clare Dugmore. I’m a thirty-something romance writer from the West Midlands, of England. I’m a married of mother of two, and in my spare time I enjoy binge watching shows with Hubby, spending time with my two sons, and playing video games.

  1. Why did you decide to be involved with the anthology?

Originally, I agreed to take part because I’d do anything Kyra Lennon asks me (😝), and I like writing for anthologies.

As I learned more about the cause, and how terrible cluster headaches are, I wanted to do something to help those who suffer from them.

As Kyra said in her interview, clusters aren’t widely known about, and not enough treatments have been developed to combat them. I hope our contribution can spread awareness, and raise money for more research to be done.

  1. All the story/poem titles are 90s Brit Pop songs. How did you choose your song title?

I had a really hard time with the song, which is funny, because I was a teen at the height of 90s Brit Pop, and a HUGE fan of one of the most popular Brit Pop bands, Blur. Alas, I couldn’t find anything from the Brit Pop era that fit my story, and instead settled on Letters to Cleo’s cover of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me,” which is featured in the movie “Ten Things I Hate About You.” I love the song, I listen to it a lot, and it fit perfectly with my story. 

  1. How did your story/poem develop?

My story is an idea I’ve had rattling around in my head for a while now, ever since I read an article about a guy who realised he wasn’t as straight as he thought, when he started getting jealous seeing his roommate with another guy.

As soon as I read the article, I had a “What If?” moment, and everything else sort of fell into place.

What if you’ve repressed your true sexuality, and unknowingly fallen for your best friend/ roommate?

I mean, it happens often enough in heterosexual friendships, when one of them develops feelings for the other? But my story added the layer of my main character, Joss, having to work out that she’s bisexual, and then dealing with the fallout of coming out to her conservative parents.

  1. Does your submission in the anthology reflect your published work, or did you take the opportunity to experiment?

Yes and no. This is the first LGBT story I’ve written, and I hope I did it justice, especially with Joss grappling with her sexuality and coming out to her parents. In other ways, it was typical of what I usually write in that it was a romance, with some angst keeping the two characters apart.

  1. As a novel writer, how did writing to a tighter word count feel?

I think I’m getting better at it. At least, I hope I am. This story was great, because the plot felt perfect for a short. I don’t think it needed to be long and drawn out like a novel, so that made it easier for me.

  1. Tell me about your last/next project.

My most recent release, ALL IT TAKES, was on February 14. It’s a new-adult romance, about a uni student who gets pregnant from a one-night stand with an MMA fighter, and how they navigate having a child together, when they’re not actually a couple.

Right now, I’m working on an age-gap romance about a twenty-five-year-old makeup artist, who falls for a former rock-star twice her age. Trouble comes in the form of his ex-wife, and their attitude-filled fifteen-year-old daughter.

I hope to begin serializing it this summer.

  1. What’s the best thing about being a writer?

The escape. I read and write to escape, to get away from life’s stresses for a few hours, and go into another world. I hope my stories offer that escape to other when they read them. 

  1. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time? (writing or non-writing answers allowed 😊)

EEK! I’ll be almost 40!! I hope not too much changes, because I’m happy where I am right now. I hope to be thinner (I’m currently doing the keto diet, and have lost two stone already.) I hope in five years, I’m at a healthy weight.

Writing wise, I hope I’ve made a bestsellers list, somewhere. New York Times and USA Today are the dream, but I’d settle for Amazon right now! Lol

 

Clare Dugmore bio PicAuthor Bio

Clare Dugmore is an author of all things romantic; be they contemporary, paranormal, fantasy. She loves a good love story!

Her novel, ALL IT TAKES, a dual-POV new-adult, contemporary-romance about responsibility, love and discovering who you are in life, released on February 14, 2017.
Clare is a thirty-something, married, mother of two from the West Midlands, of England. In her spare time, she enjoys binge watching shows with her hubby, spending time with her two sons, and playing video games.

You can connect with Clare at: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram