Saturday, December 23, 2006

Seasonal Greetings

Merry Christmas, everyone! I'm off to visit relatives now, so no posts for a few day. Hope Santa brings you everything you wished for...

Madelynne xxx

Friday, December 22, 2006

Lust Bites Xmas Competition

Starting today we're running a prize draw over at Lust Bites (follow link below) to win this super pile of books, including Dark Designs by yours truly. All you need to do is leave a comment, it can be as simple as "mistletoe" or "gimme porn" or a full scale "you guys are great, etc." So go take part. The competition is running until the 6th Jan '07.

Sniffle! Wish I could enter!



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Scarlet Awards


Yipeedy, skippity! Please excuse the mad dancing. I'm currently on cloud nine as I've just scoped the Best Male-Male Sex Scene award in Scarlet magazines erotic fiction awards. The extract is even printed in one of the nice eye-catching purple boxes. Check it out...

Right, off to do more dancing. My children think their mammy has gone mad!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Lust Bites bit


Hey, I'm blogging about Bad Boys over at Lust Bites today. Follow the link below to head over there and join the discussion.

Christmas Party Report

Yesterday I went off to Manchester for a day of gossiping and festive cheer at the Lust Bites Christmas party. Hee, I've been to Manchester several times but they appear to have completely rebuilt the station as a shopping mall since my last visit, which was a bit of a surprise. Luckily, Wendy (Portia da Costa) was easy to spot, and I've met Tilly (Mathilde Madden) before.
So, off we went to Via Fossa in Canal Street, which I loved. I want to transplant it to my home town, although I'll spare you my raptures about the toilet doors! Anyway, much fun was had especially when I managed to acquire us some in-house entertainment in the form of a good-looking, if slightly inebriated young man :-D. The one shame was that we only got to see Nikki Magennis for five minutes. Next time... I can't wait.

Oh, and I nearly forgot. Wendy brought us chocolates!!! Very yummy chocolates. Isn't she a star! She also took photos which you can see on her blog, or over at Lust Bites.

--
Recently watched: Cowboy Bebop Vol 6 & Torchwood.
Currently listening to: Moi dix Mois, & HYDE.
Currently reading: Nothing at the moment.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Bleeding Eyes...

I've accomplished a whole heap of nothing today. Instead, in addition to nursing a sick child, I've spend the day downloading piccies and reading fanfic - most of it truly appalling. Why, you might ask, am I indulging in this particularly pointless excercise? Simple - escapism, and it occassionally makes me laugh. Also, I worked my socks off during the early part of the week getting the AGW2 proposal done and sent off, so I deserve some downtime. Thursday, I was so tired it felt as though my eyes had been sandpapered. Today I still feel fried.

Still, I have achieved one useful thing today. I've come up with a title for my demon novella. I find titles really difficult, so I'm quite pleased about this one.

I'm giving myself tomorrow off too, and going to meet fellow Black Lace authors, Portia da Costa, Mathilde Madden and Nikki Magennis, for a festive gathering. Should be a scream. Watch out Manchester, here we come!

Other news - Anais Nohant left a lovely comment about Dark Designs on MySpace, and also wrote about it in her blog. Seems I inspired her to check out the local comic store! Thank you, Anais, for your kind words. To read about her adventure click here and check out the entries for December 8th & 9th.

--
Recently watched: Various Dirge of Cerebus cut-scenes.
Currently listening to: Moi dix Mois, & HYDE.
Currently reading: You really don't want to know.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Crush



We're talking crushes over at Lust Bites today. So, here's a few more pictures of two of mine...




Now, get yourselves over there, join in the fun, and name names.



Saturday, December 09, 2006

A few more cuties

Other than trying to beat my AGW2 proposal into submission, I've achieved pretty much zilch today, so to cheer myself up I thought I'd post some more boys *coff* anime boys *coff* video game sprites *sorry* *coff*

Sephiroth Iason Mink
Benten Hwoarang
Howl
Oh, yeah, and not forgetting my current obsession,

Gackt
(and yes, he does qualify!)And before anyone points out that they're all blonde/red-heads, I couldn't find any decent piccies of my dark haired faves.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Demonology

New notebook day today. Yes, I go through alot of notebooks. Probably why I bought two this time, one lilac and one blue, both with handfinished silk covers. Yes, I have expensive tastes in notebooks, but their scrumminess is an incentive to write.

Blue one is destined to be AGW2 notebook 2, while the lilac will be accomadating a new project, tada... I've finally got my act together and made a start on that paranormal novella I've been banging on about.

I'm still working out the details but my editor is happy with the basic plot, so example text for that required asap. It's a demon/demon hunter tale for anyone interested in my nonsense, which is as much as I'm prepared to say at the moment. Although, I do have images picked out for my main characters, both of them men, despite one of the character definitely being a woman in the story. Hehe, that's got you wondering, hasn't it... I might be persuaded to post piccies in the future.

Right now, I'm off to do some relaxing. It is Friday evening, you know!

--
Recently watched: Young & Dangerous 4
Currently listening to: Neighbours annoying house alarm for the fourth day running.
Currently reading: MR James

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lust Bites

Hey, fellow Black Lace author, Nikki Magennis, has set up a group blog for Black Lace/Cheek authors called Lust Bites. Drop by and let us know what you'd like to see us discussion over there.

Lust Bites this way...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


My editor - isn't he cute - is blogging over at romancebytheblog today, so be sure to stop by and check it out, and don't forget the fascinating discussion going on in the comments section.

Today, has been a marginal improvement on yesterday. I've started rewriting the synopsis. Mostly this involves culling all the necessary detail, and removing the bits where it says: And now they have sex. Still a long way to go.

Right, off to do some soaking and thinking.

Oh, and did I mention the car died!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hateful Synopsis

Today is rubbish. Word count is rubbish. Synopsis is.... ah, well to simply say it's rubbish would be understating the problem. It may contain the correct number of words but none of them are good words.

Currently, said synopsis reduces what I hope will be an emotional rollercoaster of a ride and a great book to a whole heap of nothingness. The problem, I suspect, is that there are no easy plot points eg. they dig in spot X and find the treasure, as everything revolves around the characters, their angst and personal dilemmas.

I'm beginning to think I should shoehorn in a bit of mystery, just so I have something to write about in the synopsis :=)

And to make things worse, I can't concentrate on anything else while this is hanging over my head..errrrggghhhh! Need to make progress of shorts with deadlines in January, and outline paranormal novella beyond crow-feathers, sharp knife, bike and blond.

--
Recently watched: Torchwood, & other half playing Dirge or Cerberus
Currently listening to: Churning dishwasher.
Currently reading: A totally dire synopsis.

Friday, December 01, 2006

New Review.

I've a smile on my face today. I've had a lovely review of Dark Designs from Ashley Lister over at ERWA, and I got a mention in the CREAM review too.

To read the Dark Designs review click here.

Meanwhile the outline/synopsis for AGW2 is coming along nicely. It all started falling into place when I started concentrating on the inter-character relationships, and what they actually want. Simple really.

Also pleased because while I had an ending I wasn't 100% about it. It was a little too out of character, then another writer reminded me that leopards don't change their spots and it convinced me that it was just wrong. It involved timeline problems too. Anyway, now I have a much better, in character ending.

--
Recently watched: The State Within (Yummy & intelligent. What more can I ask?)
Currently listening to: Characters squabbling in my head.
Currently reading: Re-reading Beyond Innocence by Emma Holly.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Oh, hell!

First three chapters of AGW2 are done. Well, obviously I need to sit on them a few days and then do tweakage and rethinks but essentially, they are are done. This means I've reached the dreaded synopsis writing stage again.

HAVE I MENTIONED HOW MUCH I HATE WRITING THE DAMN THINGS!!!

I'm not a natural plotter. Some writers like to have everything beautifully outlined before they write a word. Me, I like to listen to the characters chatter inside my head and write any way it tumbles onto the page. This is fine if you're writing the whole book before sending it out to editors for consideration, but when you're trying to get them to take it on a partial it's a whole different game.

SYNOPSIS = ESSENTIAL

ME = SYNOPSIS = PAIN

Now don't get me wrong, I do have some idea where this book is going. It's just, I'm a bit sketchy on the details and how it all hangs together. Bleurgh! I'm sure I'll muddle through.

However, in the future I think I shall write character names, locations, props and assorted other weirdness on to scraps of paper, drop em in a bag and pick them out at random, thus creating an amazing (um crap) plot in seconds that can be easily turned into a synopsis.

Hey, it works for LRP events!

In other news, I didn't make it into Sex with Strangers (boo!), but the editor liked the story (hurray!). Anyway, it's temporarily on the shelf awaiting opportunites. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for calls, as it's a story I'm particularly fond of.

Next Wicked Words deadline is coming up in January. The theme is Paranormal. I have two stories started, but that means nothing. Can't send them unless I finish them, and I won't do that until this blasted synopsis is written.

Better get to it...
--

Recently watched: Torchwood (loving it), Stormriders (I want a sword graveyard too!)
Currently listening to: Moon by Gackt
Currently reading: Re-reading Beyond Innocence by Emma Holly.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Relationship drama

The struggle with AGW2 continues...

I thought Lucerne was being a jerk, but as is typical with these things, I was simply getting one side of the story. Poor lamb, I feel sorry for him. Relationships are hard work and I wouldn't wish Vaughan and Bella on anyone.

--
Recently watched: Fimbles, Meg & Mog, & five minutes of Aladdin (not out of choice, I hasten to add.)
Currently listening to: Other half playing Onimusha.
Currently reading: Crying Freeman by Kazuo Koike & Ryoichi Ikegami.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Progress

Well, a teensy bit. I've now completed the first two chapters of AGW2 in exploratory draft anyway. And you know, I think that it's not too toe curlingly awful. Note, I will probably change my mind on that point by tomorrow morning, when I'll realise it is in fact bloody rubbish. In the meantime, though...

Still, I'm pleased and relieved to have reached this point. It's been a real slog, because there's no slow build up where I do the character introductory thing. It's straight into the heart of the story.

Vaughan has been no problem, but then I've only had to write a few snippets inside his head. Bella, however... Oh, boy! Naturally, time in London sandwiched between two pretty boys has changed her, but also her feelings at the start of the book are very complex, which is making writing her a nightmare. I've a suspicion her voice may be a little off, so major tweakerage will be in order there. Lucerne, is also proving a pain. I'm walking a thin line with him, because I don't want everyone to despise him, but at the same time I can't avoid the fact that he's acting like a jerk - plot, you know. I'm supposed to have it!

Anyway, now I've got to Pennerley, I'm hoping things will start falling into place with considerably more ease.

If only I knew what it is that Vaughan's planning...

Anyone any ideas? Mail me.

Better go scribble some more, and I might just manage to push this baby over 20K.
--
Recently watched: Poldark 2 (Dammit! Why does it have to end.) Torchwood (Yeah! Someone gave Jack a shotgun.)
Currently listening to: Gackt, Sisters of Mercy, T-Rex.
Currently reading: Crying Freeman by Kazuo Koike & Ryoichi Ikegami.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Nothing much doing around here...

Otherwise known as a cheap excuse to post some pics of my current top five beautiful men. (Note: I am fickle and prone to changing my mind at the drop of a hat.)

Enjoy, or something like that!

1. Camui Gackt

2. Johnathan Rhys Meyers

3. Johnny Depp

4. Antonio Banderas

5. Jude Law

--
Recently watched: The State Within (so complex it makes my head hurt.)
Currently listening to: Velvet Goldmine Soundtrack.
Currently reading: Nothing worth mentioning.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

No... Really!

You Are 70% Weird

You're so weird, you think you're *totally* normal. Right?
But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

We have a winner!

Congratualtions to Anais. A signed copy of Dark Designs is on the way to her, and thanks to everyone else who entered my release day competition.

In other news, I've just sent off a bunch of entries for Scarlet Magazine's new annual erotic writing awards. It's so-o difficult selecting short (200 word) passages of text to send. Most of my sex scenes tend to be lengthy several page things involving sparring dialogue and plot elements that make no sense out of context. I'm not hopeful, but you never know; there are lots of categories.

Recently watched: Poldark Series 2 (it's research honest), Torchwood (I'm not even pretending this is...)
Currently listening to: Velvet Goldmine Soundtrack.
Currently reading: Nothing at the moment.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dark Designs Day Twin Teasers


Dark Designs publication day is here, and yipee, I've already have a review on Amazon. Thanks to Mathilde for that. You're a star!

Promised extracts are below. Please enjoy. Oh, and if anyone fancies posting some comments, or adding to the Amazon reviews I'll be extremely grateful. (You don't have to be ultra nice even, just honest :-P. Although like all authors I enjoy having my ego massaged.)


Dark Designs Teaser One:

His lips brushed the exposed skin of her stomach, causing butterflies where he made contact.

'I said it was strictly business.'

'And so it is. Strictly my business to get you off.'

'Futile promises.' She tried to sit up. Damn him for interfering. She was probably spiting herself, but she wasn't going to retract her promise, just because she was horny, yaoi-kiss drunk and had a beautiful man drawing his tongue across her clit.

'Oh, oh!' Her body sighed, as the soft lashes continued. 'Not fair.'

'That's right,' he said, and began sucking instead.

Remy feebly pushed at his head, his shoulders. 'We're not doing this.' Her voice was rising, as her resistance weakened.

'Oh, but we are.' He climbed on to the bed on top of her. 'Let me make this easy for you.' He grasped her wrists, pinning her to the narrow bed.

The feel of his cock bruising her thigh was too much. Why did he have to take control, and be so bloody composed about it?

'I don't want you: I want Silk.'

'No.' He breathed the denial into her mouth. 'You want me to have Silk.'


--

Dark Designs Teaser Two:

They'd been at it about twenty minutes. Silk was stripped down to his shirt and trousers, and Takeshi to just his leathers. Remy had them posed like lovers, with Takeshi's hand upon Silk's shoulder, and their heads tilted towards one another. But the tension between them seemed to be running at an all-time high. Between shots, Silk seemed to be making it clear he was there under duress. Remy wondered if she was expected to feel obligated to him after this.

'Closer, and look into each other's eyes,' Remy demanded. Despite the pressure, she was enjoying herself immensely. 'It needs more intimacy.'

Takeshi leant forward and brushed his lips against Silk's.

Well, that was intimate!

Silk's lips parted in surprise. Takeshi snaked an arm around his waist and moulded their bodies together from hip to thigh. Silk retailiated by shoving Takeshi off his feet, followed by a wordless snarl of fury.

Remy's carefully constructed fantasy fell apart, although Alix gleefully continued snapping expressions. 'Yey, fight!' she cheered.

Takeshi snatched up the great sword and forced Silk back against the rim of the fountain. The tip of the metal beast pressed between the open edges of Silk's shirt, making cold contact with the skin.

'You've got to be fucking kidding!' Silk yelled.

'Stop it, stop it.' An icy shiver ran up Remy's spine. She could see Takeshi's tattoo emblazoned like a warning across his back. Not for the first time, she wished she knew more about him.
--

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tomorrow is publication day.

Good job that there are lots of folks out there to remind me. Tomorrow is publication day for both Dark Designs and Sex...& Shopping. To celebrate I thought I'd post a few snippets.

Here's a teaser from "Grandmother's Teapot" in Sex...& Shopping. I'll post something from Dark Designs tomorrow.

--
Neither of us has ever done this before. Rich peddles and I throw. The clay is soft and oozes sensuously over my fingers; with only a hint of pressure it responds to my will. A shape grows up from the flared base. I run both hands up and down the column of clay, my gaze flicking back and forth between the sculpture and Rich's expression. I guess it's pretty obvious what my mind is focussed on. I try not to meet his eyes.

"Funny shape for a teapot," he remarks.

My gaze remains at groin level. "This is the spout," I say as I trace my thumb lovingly back and forth over the tip, while imagining his cock poking rudely from his fly.

Rich's attention is fixed upon the motion of my hands. His foot pumps hard making the wheel spin faster and my up and down rhythm grow frantic. I want to be working him, not clay. I'm seeing his skin darken, and hearing his breathing turn into a pant.

Abruptly, Rich stops peddling and the clay column crumples.

"Not bad," the instructor commiserates, hurrying us off so she can install another pair. She doesn't even bother to remove my artistic impression of brewer's droop from the wheel.

"What now?" I ask Rich, as I wash off the clay. Maybe he'll slip his hands inside my shirt, tweak a nipple and conjure a teapot like some street magician. Then we can forget this crap, and he can take me home to bed.

"Flea Market," he announces instead.

--

Excursion into geekdom.

Last weekend we packed the kiddies off to grandma's and headed north for a weekend of horror/paranormal live role-playing. It's been awhile. We've had two years out due to arrival of child number two, but it's good to see nothing's really changed. I had tremendous fun dressing up in 1920's costume, talking to "dead" men in WW1 trenches, being marched to breakfast at rifle point, running away from weird otherworldly beasties and hjacking a time travelling tower. The result is that I've come home refreshed, recharged and a whole lot less stressed (although my feet are protesting the high heels).

Prior to going, I had been getting myself bogged down in the day to day grind of writing, and had forgotten it's supposed to be fun! Anyway, I think we might start putting event together. I means taking time out from writing erotica, but maybe that's no bad thing. I'm hopeless at switching off and chilling out.

Meanwhile, being someone else for the weekend has given my imagination a kick start, so while my word count on AGW2 is only creeping up slowly, I'm feeling alot happier about it. What does it matter if it meanders at its own pace. It'll probably end up a stronger book for it. And at least now the characters are talking to me. Lucerne came out with an interesting phrase this morning. I won't say what Vaughan was thinking in reply, but it's so typically him at his most convolted I'm sure it's important...bwh-haha!

--
Recently watched: Torchwood (go Jack), Cowboy Bebop (go Spike).
Currently listening to: Formica Blues by Mono
Currently reading: Various research materials.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Competition

To mark the UK release of DARK DESIGNS on 9th November '06, I thought I'd hold a competition. To enter simply send me an email (see contact details under my pic) with "Dark Designs Competition" in the subject line and include your name and country of origin. The winner receives a signed copy of Dark Designs. I'll draw a name from a hat on 12th November '06. Please note, that the winner will have to provide a postal address.

Research Visit


My word count isn't going anywhere - sigh! However, I spent a productive day on Friday soaking up the atmosphere at Vaughan's place, jotting down important notes about views out of windows and how many steps it takes to get between the gatehouse and the great hall. I got some odd looks, I can tell you, and those from people who obviously didn't realise how silly they all looked with the guided tour phone widget thing clamped to their ears turning in unison whenever instructed.

Anyway, thought I'd share a few more piccies.


Monday, October 23, 2006

WMEWG... or something like that.

I went to meet the lovely Mathilde Madden again for lunch today. Somehow, we managed to find the same pub-restaurant type place as last time. I have no idea how, as neither of us know the area and we set out from the station in a random direction. I guess the place just liked us and was giving out weirdo subliminal vibes or something :-)

Anyway, we had a very pleasant lunch (with the exception of strange man who attached himself to our table without so much as a by your leave for twenty minutes) discussing the foibles of erotica publishing, werewolves, nightmare historicals and naughty man-on-man sex without raising a single eyebrow from the other customers. The hours just seemed to fly by.

Journey was even fun too. Not that I'm much for trains. Return was grim, horrible motion sickness that I only staved off by manically sketching scenes for AGW2 in my notebook. However, getting back to the rather more pleasant journey out... I'm so sorry girls but... You see I kinda got hemmed in by this bunch of Emo girls, who spent the whole journey chattering about Emo boys in drainpipe trousers with too much eyeliner going through their glam phases... and naughty me, I just had to write some of it down . I am, however, extremely grateful to them for teaching me a wonderful new adjective. (Okay, so it wasn't so much teaching me as me blatantly eavesdropping.) So wonderful, I'm not repeating it here, but am instead saving it for awesome future story (or something like that). Certainly adding it to list along with other awesome adjective invented by my son.

Okay, off to do work type stuff that I should have done when I was out galavanting...erm, I mean socializing earlier.

--
Recently watched: Ashura (brilliant), The Astronaught's Wife (dire), Torchwood (swoon).
Currently listening to: Still nada, although the CD player appears to be making a recovery.
Currently reading: Sex & Shopping.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Disjointed ramblings.

That's how I'd describe what I've done so far on AGW2. I still don't have the beginning written, just a mess of disjointed scenes that occur later in the book and need fleshing out. The characters are assembling nicely and asserting their personalities - aren't names wonderful things! And I known that I should feel pleased as I've written 10K this last week (a huge amount for me), but I just want that beginning to fall into place. I know what I want to write, but I just can't seem to get it down on paper. Maybe the beginning in my head is not the right beginning for the book. Argh, I'm so not good at first drafts :-}

This week I've also spent a bit of time setting up a MySpace account. There's not much to see for my efforts but if anyone fancies being my friend, please link up.

--
Recently watched: Brokeback Mountain
Currently listening to: Nada, as the CD player's on the blink.
Currently reading: Various bits and pieces I'm supposed to be offering crits on.

What type of writer should you be?

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!


Yeah, that's about right ;-]

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Why I shouldn't be allowed up past 1am.

Every now and then I like to stay up really late and work. After the mammoth bath on Friday evening, I did just that. It was 4am when I finally called it quits. However, I have to question the actual productivity of having done this, since by 2am (if not earlier) my brain is complete mush.

Hence, this little gem...

The scent of honey filled the air. They rampaged through the air conditioning.

Err! What?

They didn't have air conditioning in 1800. Holds head in hands. Methinks the ability to type while asleep is perhaps not such a wonderful talent after all.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thank heavens for Radox.

Yesterday - get in the zone. Yep! Except at critical moment, phone call. Result - nada!

Today, also nada.

I suppose it's just damn well typical of the mad mercurial bastard, aka Marquis Pennerley, that he won't bloody co-operate. Thinks he's in charge, that boy. Two stinking weeks I've been trying to write the opening chapter for AGW2 (which does have it's own tentative title - honest!) and I've manged about 500 words (shocking - eh?). So, I think, fine, I give up. I'll go soak myself in bubbles, take a few books with me to read, and my swanky new super cool colour change notebook (just in case) and I'll dream a little.

I DID NOT EXPECT TO BE IN THE BATH FOR FOUR HOURS!

Glad I got that out. I swear I'd be completely crap as a writer if I had to live without a tub for any length of time. It's where I have all my ideas.

Anway, aside from being cold and rather pruned, I now have some text. Not, as you might imagine the stunning new opening chapter, but instead a bit from the middle. But, you know, I don't really mind, because I think it's going to be one of those magic Easter egg scenes that makes the whole thing hang together so well. Plus, it includes a bit with two of the new characters who I don't really know yet, and they seem so much more real now.

Off to type it all into coherence, or something like that.

---
Recently watched: Dora the Explorer (Kids! I always wanted to learn Spanish! ;-P)
Currently listening to: Formica Blues by Mono
Currently reading: Sex & Shopping.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I need order...

Another day where I've got next to nothing done. I really must pull my finger out...

Okay, so I did manage to put some review copies of Dark Designs in the post and send off my Sex with Strangers story, but I'm not sure that 5 minutes in the post office is all that much work.

The trouble is, I have three seperate projects whizzing around inside my head (not including the sidelined seckrit project), and as a result I can't concentrate on any of them. Anyone any suggestions? Normally, I focus on one novel and nothing else, but then normally I don't have an editor waiting for me to send them stuff (assuming that very busy editor hasn't forgotten I exist while waiting.)

I did do one thing in attempt to sort it all out....

TADA! I bought a new notebook.

It's beautiful, with a magic fabric cover that changes colour depending on how the light hits it. I thought it was perfect for jotting down all my notes about Vaughan et al for AGW2, after all, he's as mercurial as they come. And I still have space in my old notebook to scrawl notes on the other two projects - perfect.

I'm going to attempt to so some work now.

All right, actually, I'm going to play music and walk up and down the room while I attempt to zone in on Vaughan, an activity that is greatly helped by a glass of port. Unfortunately, we don't appear to have any...boo hoo...
--
Recently watched: 21 grams.
Currently listening to: Adam and the Ants.
Currently reading: Sex & Shopping.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Yesterday was royalties day. Sadly, the statement didn't come accompanied by a six-figure cheque (I can dream, can't I), but it didn't look too bad.

Today, my author copies of Dark Designs arrived (woohoo!). It's published on the 9th November in the UK, and 26th December in the US. I'm still not fond of the cover, but I have to admit, it does look striking. I've also enjoyed flicking through the pages and rediscovering those characters. Remy, Silk & Takeshi still occupy a warm place in my heart. Dark Designs was definitely fun to write, so I hope people get the same sort of kick out of reading it.



And, tucked in the bottom of the envelope, was my copy of Sex...and Shopping, which is also out 9th November. It looks like a fab read. I'll be starting on that one later.

---
Recently watched: Robin Hood.
Currently listening to: Adam and the Ants.
Currently reading: Sparkles by Louise Bagshawe

Monday, October 09, 2006

Finally...

It's official. I hate writing short stories, they're just so completely draining.

It's taken 5+ attempts, but I've finally finished my Sex with Strangers story. Hurray! Now I can get back to my dandy highwayman and plotting what Vaughan's up to. But first, sleep. ZZZzzzzzzzz!
-
Recently watched: Hedwig & the Angry Inch, & 24 Hour Party People.
Currently listening to: Malice Mizer & Adam and the Ants.
Currently reading: Sparkles by Louise Bagshawe

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Too much craziness

I got myself in a real curfuffle last week. Too many projects and not enough time. The result was that I managed to get virtually zero done. I'm feeling a bit more organized this week. So far I've manged to check the proofs for my Sex in Public story and zap it off to the editorial assistant, and get the proposal for Desperate Measures off to BL. Fingers crossed on that one :-] I'm not feeling very confident.

Other tasks for this week: Start the proposal for AGW2, write a Sex with Strangers story (I'm getting nowhere with that one. The idea is there, I just can't seem to channel it onto the paper), think about writing a novella, and maybe...just maybe finally send off my Seckrit Project. That's not too much to do, is it? :-P

Hmm, I still owe my crit partner some feedback too.

Suppose I'd better get to it.

-
Recently watched: Legend of Zorro & V for Vendetta.
Currently listening to: The rain outside.
Currently reading: Sparkles by Louise Bagshawe

Thursday, September 21, 2006

He's back...

Anyone who's been reading recently will know that I've been having a hard time with my current WIP. The character voices have been a bit off, the ending was going to run to fifteen volumes, the conflict kept sliding under the table and my laptop is waging a personal vendetta against it. Anyway, I forced myself to just get on with it and write last night, and it's coming... I know it is, because the characters are slowly introducing their own little quirks, and that makes me pleased. So, pleased that I started feeling settled, and then wallop, suddenly I have an idea for something completely unrelated. It's just sitting there, the faintest smidgen of a concept, but there's something compelling about it.

Now, I know that my editor is interested in novellas at the moment, so I mentally pencil it down as a novella idea, and get back to work on DM. After all, it's nothing concrete yet, just a little seedling that I need to mull and nuture for a while, but I know that something magic is coming.

I'm still mulling at lunchtime today when I nip upstairs to print something out, and I write two words in my notebook as a vague remind of the idea, when something weird happens. Leastways it's weird for me. The outline of a novel just spills onto the page, and it's only got one smidgen of a thing in common with the previous night's idea... They are both about VAUGHAN (cue maniacal laughter). I blame the visit to Stokesay, last month. The place just had a resonance.

The thing I find strange about all this is that the most frequent question I've been asked about writing is - when are you writing a sequel to A Gentleman's Wager? And I've always been pretty negative about the idea. I never felt it was an avenue I needed to explore. I knew what happened to the characters in the short term, and in the long term I suspected that what I'd write wouldn't be what people wanted to read. But, and don't anybody hold their breath. I think I've finally got it. Of course, I still have to fill in the details and write it, but I'm actually tingling in anticipation. Don't worry anyone who knows me, I'm sure the excitement will wear off. Still, watch this space...

Oh, and here's the place that's inspired all this magic.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rats and other horror stories

I'm back, and sort of better...

Least ways the appendix is fine. I'm now just loaded with cold, which is probably courtesy of the hospital, or perhaps the school yard sniffle...urgh! Now the thing is when I'm ill I have this strange urge to clean things, as if cleaning the cooker will somehow eradicate whatever nasty bug is afflicting me. Hence during the appendix drama, I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to mow the lawn. Now, let me say the grass had got pretty long, as we'd been away over the summer and then we've had loads of rain. So, there I am happily mowing away, having removed all the kiddies toys from the lawn first, when crunch... And I think, oh bugger I've just mowed a toy, but no, it's actually much worse. I've have infact mowed a very dead, decaying, maggot infested, nausea-inducing rat. I'm not squeamish. I have a biology degree, but this was the most repulsive thing I've ever had to deal with. Worse that vomitting children, digging up sewer pipes, handling live cockroaches, and hacking the earbones out of year-old dead fish, and to make matters worse, my 4yr old son, in typical little boy fashion is going 'WOW, LET ME SEE! LET ME SEE!' Grim, grim, and more grim. Anyway, just thought I'd share that with you all before I return to my regular horror story, namely Desperate Measures.

I decided that the original ending I had planned just wasn't going to work. It seemed very tacked on, and would have taken me to double the actual word count BL require, so I've ripped it off and come up with a brand new ending, which I hope won't come across as too abrupt... sigh. I've also incorporated a nice new twist, and discovered that things are destined to be a bit edgy. Hopefully, not too edgy for BL's current romantic fluffy feel. Although, I think I may have a HEA. I've also, OMG, and this is a first for me, written a detailed working synopsis. How amazing is that? Suddenly, actually writing the various chunks seems a lot less stressful.

On the Seckrit Project front... well, it's still sitting on my hard drive. I just don't seem to be able to get anything out of the door at the moment. I'm blaming illness. Although I have also been waiting for some feedback from my 'crit partner'. Who said it was very angsty and accused me of being a big meanie, but I say, it's yaoi, what do you expect <cue very evil laugh>. She did say it was very hot too. I still need an artist to make it really saleable though.

Other stuff... oh, yeah, still nada on the Sex with Strangers, and Bondage tales front. Must get on with those. Too many deadlines, too little time...

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Recently watched: Cowboy Bebop
Currently listening to: The Stars We Are by Marc Almond
Currently reading: Fullmetal Alchemist, by Hiromu Arakawa

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Better

Just a quick note to say I'm much improved and thanks for all the well wishes. It's always nice to know people are thinking of you when you're feeling low.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Poorly me.

Sorry if it's a bit quiet around here for a while, I've just got out of hospital. My appendix is playing up...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Artist required.

Anyone know any super cool yaoi manga artists? I could really use one right now. Ability to draw extremely pretty men with long flowing locks essential.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

More desperate than ever

WIP has turned into some diabolical waking dream. The plot just won't hang together straight, I can't seem to get a proper handle on the characters and the sex (a pretty intrinsic part of erotica) keeps running for cover. It's all getting me down...boohoo! And to make matters worse, I keep dreaming of Vaughan.

Vaughan, was the scrumptious piece of roguery from my first novel, A Gentleman's Wager, for anyone who didn't know. He's always been my favourite character, but as I've already told his story he mostly sits in the back of my mind being a teasing memory. However, owing to some epically proportioned weirdness while researching the location for the paranormal short/novella I'm gearing up to write, we went to visit his home. That is, the place I named him after, and just down the road I found his house. Of course, I didn't specifically know it was his house until we got there, but then I just knew this was exactly where he would live. And, boy was it beautiful (just like him). I've already promised myself a whole day there sometime soon, just to sit, write and drink coffee...mmm...

...okay, maybe the writing life isn't so bad.

My seckrit project is brushing up nicely, other half has now read it and given it a thumbs up after a few tweaks. This weekend I'm determined to hammer that synopsis into shape and get the bugger out of the door. On which subject, back to work...

Recently watched: Heroic Duo & Nine Songs
Currently listening to: Moon by Gackt
Currently reading: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Room to think

Not much writing done yesterday, instead I got down to some serious de-cluttering/furniture rearrangement. Now what's this got to do with writing you ask. Well, let me explain...

Once upon a time there was me and my other half and we lived in a three bedroom house. Everything was perfect, we had a bedroom, technically his room; a workroom, which contained my desk, books and junk; and a guest room, which also masqueraded as an LRP store. Then baby number one arrived. Guest room became the nursery, which meant the guest bed moved to my workroom along with some of the LRP stuff, and the rest got shoved into assorted cupboards and cubbyholes. All was still fine, if a little cramped in the workroom, but hey, there was still space for the baby to play while I wrote. Then baby two arrived! Do you see where this is going? Child two moved into the nursery, Child one moved into my workroom, and the contents of my workroom... Let's see, the guest bed moved house, the LRP stuff was culled and the remainder confined to the outhouse in the garden, and my desk, books etc moved into our bedroom. If this wasn't bad enough, my other half then decided on a change of career and became a teacher along with all that entails, eg. boxes of marking, lesson plans and work sheets. My desk was no longer my own. Third book was written on a laptop balanced on the arm of the sofa, while breastfeeding.

All this brings us back to yesterday and my sort out. Well, I now have a desk again, and I'm already feeling the benefits. Despite not switching the computer on until midnight I still managed a resonable 500 words, but better still, I had a few wicked ideas, one of which had me cackling inanely and itching to tell my other half. But, no. I am not telling, I'm saving it as a surprise for when he does the edits.

So, my advice for the day. If your plot's going nowhere and your structure is a mess, try decluttering your workspace. It works for me!

Now, I just need to figure out how to write a novella and I'll be sorted.

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Recently watched: Nada.
Currently listening to: Noisy kiddies.
Currently reading: The Angels' Share by Maya Hess & The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Nocturnal exploits.

I considered pulling an all nighter last night, caught up in the world of Thea, Richard and Stark. Luckily, common sense prevailed around 3am. Believe me, as much as I'd like to work through and crawl beneath the duvet at daybreak, small children just don't allow for such behaviour. I woke with a sore head and it hasn't much improved.

Anyway, things are plodding along. The synopsis I was supposed to be hacking into shape has taken a back seat and instead I've pushed on with the main text. The only problem I'm having is that I can't tell if it's brilliant or shit. Maybe it's neither. Maybe that's worse. Urgh!

Okay, I'm back after several hours...

... and Desperate Measures is become more desperate. Why, you ask? Because I'm a fool that's why. Instead of writing a nice relationship heavy contemp with quirky characters and a nice mix of sex and angst, I'm writing a bloody historical that's determined to have a proper plot in addition to the relationship, quirky characters, sex angst. Ruddy history. Ruddy plot! Why do I do it? Answers on a postcard - hang on, showing my age there - better make it in an email, or hey, just as a comment. Someone explain this madness to me. Pleeease!

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Recently watched: I don't have time for TV.
Currently listening to: The rain.
Currently reading: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The return

Three castles, two ancient villages, two barrows, a stone circle, a Johnny Depp fest (aka Pirates of the Carribbean) and a day at the beach later, I'm back to the grind of being a writer. For a change, the holiday was wonderful, although the swimming pool could have been warmer and I could wish that my small daughter wasn't quite so determined to throw herself from the ramparts of every castle she visits. Still, it made a refreshing change, sadly somewhat undone by the totally diabolical journey home. Now I remember why we alway travel during the small hours. Never again are we braving the M anything during daylight.

Anyway, on to the important stuff. I've come back to two nice surprises. The first, the rather nifty cover for Sex in Public.



and the second, that Passion of Isis has now been translated into Norweigan and retitled as Lotusblomsten. It also has a rather nifty cover, which I'm well pleased with even if it doesn't look anything like the actual characters.



Progress too has been made today on Desperate Measures. I have a messy synopsis, a prologue, and a newly tweaked chapter one, which makes me feel as if I'm on target for getting the proposal out of the door. I also have the beginnings of an idea for the BL Paranormal Erotica anthology, although one for Sex with Strangers would probably be more useful at this stage since its deadline is closer. Downside, I still can't think of a damn cool title for my seckrit project. Any suggestions...anyone! Yeah, I know it'd help if you knew what it was about, but I'm still not ready to fess up, just yet. Soon, hopefully...maybe...

--
Recently watched: Dead Man's Chest
Currently listening to: A crazy jumble of voices in my head all shouting for attention.
Currently reading: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Just a quickie...

as I'm off on holiday phase two at 4am tomorrow, but I had to say,

Woohoo! I went to meet fellow Black Lace author, Mathilde Madden for lunch today. We had a lovely time (leastways I did, I hope she did!) chatting about vampire bondage, yaoi/slash, seckrit projects etc. I have to say, it was so refreshing to be able to talk to someone in person about the ins and outs of writing erotica, without being looked at as you've grown two heads or have pervert written across your skin in red marker pen. I do wonder what the folk around us thought...heehee...actually, I don't really care, and I don't think anyone really noticed us lurking in our dark corner (vbg).

Anyway, I'm now feeling very enthused about writing, and totally excited about the possibility of meeting en mass with some of the other erotica authors I know.

Gotta dash, back next week, hopefully with an update on those proposals.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum

Well, I'm back from my jollies (as my sister would say) and as usual a week under canvas has left me totally exhausted. Don't get me wrong, I love camping, but it's hard work with two little ones, and I mightily object to being woken at 3am by water dripping on my nose. It's a good job it's a big tent and has another sleeping pod we could move into, still, I think that will be its last outing.

In other news, I've just heard that my story Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, will appear in the Black Lace anthology Sex in Public, so I'm chuffed. Sadly, there's little to report on my other projects, must get on with those as I hope to get a proposal for Desperate Measures off to BL by the end of the month, and a proposal for my seckrit project sent out. The first draft of SP is nearly finished, fingers crossed that I can make it saleable. I have a publisher in mind, but who knows. In the writing world things rarely go to plan.
--
Recently watched: Even more Poldark
Currently listening to: the washing machine
Currently reading: The Angels' Share by Maya Hess

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Crappy reviews Part II

Contrary being that I am, I have not slunk off into a darkened room to wallow in despair, or in fact shed a single tear, nope, I've worked my socks off on the dastardly WIP. Maybe I'm trying to prove something? WIP has hit a few stumbling blocks over the last few days, but slowly, it's coming back on track. Actually, I knew it was turning around the minute the computer started sabotaging the file. However, I'm now an expert at weeding data out of tmp files, so, nothing lost there, and chapter three is finally hotting up. I give the credit to rather a few too many hours of watching Poldark reruns. It's still fantastic, riveting stuff. Off to watch City of God.
--
Recently watched: Lots of Poldark
Currently listening to: Gackt - Redemption
Currently reading: Just finished, Circus Excite by Nikki Magennis

Grrr...crappy reviews

Sad writer that I am, I waste far too much time checking out Amazon etc to see if anyone has written a review. Well, I found a pretty crappy one, which is making me feel grizzly, as if the blasted heat wasn't doing that already. I do wonder why people go to the effort of reading things that are so obviously not to their tastes, though. Shrugs. Erotica is such a personal thing. I'm never going to appeal to everyone's tastes, so I'll happily continue catering to my own. That is why I started writing, after all.

Sod it, I've just about got a handle on Desperate Measures. I'm not going to be distracted.

Might go and re-read Ashley Lister's review over at ERWA to remind myself that other people have liked it, though.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Happy Birthday to me!

Arh, it's getting older day again! It's been pretty good so far, breakfast in bed, presents, lunch with friends, and an email from a fellow writer saying she'd just re-discovered one of the stories that got her interested in the whole m/m erotica thing, and it turned out to be one of mine. I'm completely tickled over this, and have just scared my son by bounding across the room in a jovial manner...grin.

Feeling a bit more positive about DM too. I think I know where I'm going with Chapter 3. Now, I just have to write the damn thing. But none of that today, it's relax and be pampered day.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Too damn hot!

The UK is presently baking. Stepping outside the front door seems to guarantee you sunstroke, the road surfaces are melting and I keeping passing out mid-afternoon cause the heat is making me so darn sleepy. Anyway, the result of this ghastly weather is that I've been struggling more than usual with the whole writing lark. Today, I had hoped to get a good chunk of Chapter 3 of DM written, but having reached the end of Chpt 2, I discovered my outline was rather vague at this particular point, hence minimal progress was made and instead of sketching some ideas for scenes, I spent the afternoon indulging in YouTube - bad me.

Hmm, actually, I've been pretty naughty re: writing all week. We had friends over on Monday - great to see them - and sat up late listening to music, talking and playing Chez goth! And, Mr F, your band is totally ace!

In other news, my other half has decreed that my SIP story isn't wholly crap, being quite erotic actually, but that the public/location aspect of it is incidental. I''ve decided to put it in the post regardless, and we'll just have to wait and see what Black Lace make of it.

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Recently watched: Escape from New York
Currently listening to: Kifaru
Currently reading: Circus Excite by Nikki Magennis

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Why am I convinced I'm a writer?

Am convinced that SIP story is utter pants. Will inflict said on other half this evening to confirm suspicion...Arrgggh!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Oh, boy!

Busy, busy day. Finished my Sex in Public story... Well, I say finished. I still needs polishing but I have a complete story, with a begining, middle and end. I'm still excited about it too, although not to quite the same degree as a few days ago. Part of me wonders if it isn't just utter crap. Actually, I pretty much feel that it's going to get rejected for being too far-fetched/not public enough, but stubborn masochist that I am, I'm going to send it regardless.

Other news... Not much to report. We're still plodding along with the bathroom, and there still aren't nearly enough hours in the day.

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Recently watched: Dr Who
Currently listening to: Gackt
Currently reading: A Caress of Twilight, Laurell K Hamilton

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Wicked words

Work on my novel is on hold at present as I’ve been trying to get down something for the Sex in Public call. It’s been going okay, sex and the characters are fine, but it’s been missing something vital, namely a decent location. But… I’ve found one. Actually, my other half suggested it a while back but I dismissed it at the time cause a) it didn’t seem very erotic b) I couldn’t think of a story to hang around it and c) I’m stupid like that. Anyway, it’s perfect…cue loony grin and mad dancing.

Hmm, you know, thinking about it, maybe I should be banned from writing short stories, since I seem to be incapable of writing anything sensible. No – dammit! If I actually manage to pull this off (and there’s the catch) it’s going to be BRILLIANT!

Nobody hold their breath expecting miracles, okay. I’ll probably be back in my pit of despair again by nightfall convinced it’s the worst idea for a story ever and no editor in their right mind would ever want it. Until then… if you happen to see a strange woman about pushing a buggy with a wild grin on her face, it could be me.

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Recently watched: Big Brother
Currently listening to:The mad cackling inside my own head.
Currently reading: A Caress of Twilight, Laurell K Hamilton

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Too Funny

I always enjoy Ashley Lister's ERWA column, but this month it's especially funny. Go check out his Diary of an erotic fiction writer. It had me in stitches.

Jinxed

Desperate Measures, (the working title of my current WIP) is jinxed, I'm convinced of it. Every time I get more than a few hundred words down the computer goes phutz! and swallows the lot and I end up on a frantic damage limitation exercise. It's happened twice today, which is more than a little annoying as I've been on something of a roll. Still, I've managed just over 1K - might have been 2K, if I hadn't spend hours weeding paragraphs of text out of temp files, so I guess I'm pleased. Current plan is to try and have a proposal ready to send by the end of July, but that kind of depends how well things go with my attempt at a story for the Sex in Public antho.

I think I mentioned a while back that I had two potential story ideas... so, you might have thought I'd be busy working on them, but no, I've been tinkering around with a story I started ages ago but which ran out of steam halfway through. I just hope I manage to pull it together enough for it actually work without being completely ludicrous. Will let you know soon enough as the deadline is coming up fast.

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Recently watched: Evolution
Currently listening to: The Thunderstorm outside.
Currently reading: A Caress of Twilight, Laurell K Hamilton

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Still tired,

but at least I'm keeping up a steady pace. Progress on my WIP seems grindingly slow, but as I keep reminding myself, I'm still getting to know the characters, and necessity means that Thea spends much of the second chapter alone, which in turn calls for deep pov. Argh! I want to be writing the action. Anyway, to keep myself from sinking into a mindnumbing pit of despair, I'm also dipping in and out of the first of the two stories I have in mind of the Sex in Public call. It's fun, but as with Grandmother's Teapot, I'm wondering if it's a tad far-fetched.

Okay, enought meandering along inside my brain... BL asked for some soundbites yesterday to pass on to Company magazine for a spread on writing erotic fiction. Sounds interesting, I might pick up a copy to check it out. Anyway I sent off my suggestions, but as I doubt they'll make the cut, here are my personal bits of advice for anyone writing erotica.

1. Say what you mean. Say it mean.

2. Write cinematically, so that you can see the action.

3. Use all five senses.

4. Erotica is not just about genitalia. What's going on inside the characters' heads is far more interesting and arousing than descriptions of tab A sliding into slot B.

5. Know your genre - read, read, read!

6. Join an online group such as the Erotica Readers & Writers Association (www.erotica-readers.com). They're a great resource, and highly supportive.

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Recently watched: The Harlots Handbook
Currently listening to: Merveilles by Malice Mizer
Currently reading: A Caress of Twilight, Laurell K Hamilton

Monday, June 26, 2006

So, tired.

Really, I'm shattered. I know it's after midnight, but normally I do my best work late at night. Way too tired at the moment, though, which is probably the knock on effect of staying up on Friday night until 3:30am. I was tiling, before anyone thinks it was anything more exciting.

Okay, tiredness aside, the weekend has been fairly productive. I've managed about 500 words a day, which is pretty good for me considering my writing time is minimal. I did manage to blag a few hours of solitude this morning, talk about a novelty, and fleshed out that scene I'd sketched on Wednesday night. I'm happy with how it's turned out but whether BL will like it is an entirely different matter, especially as it's not exactly fluffy. Mind you, some of the more graphically violent passing references I included in Dark Designs seem to have escaped the editorial knife, so maybe it will be okay. Hmm, hope that doesn't put anybody off...

Another plus point for the weekend is that I've finally come up with an idea for the Sex in Public call. Actually, I have two ideas, but they could be part of the same thing, we'll just have to see once I get down to the writing bit. So far, it's just some random scribblings as I try to find an angle and a voice. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I need some help on this one, short stories are hard work!

Right, I'm off now to indulge myself with my seckrit project for a few minutes before bedtime...

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Recently watched: Johnny Mnemonic
Currently listening to: Roentgen by HYDE
Currently reading: Banana Fish vol 4

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Time wasting

Okay, so last night the kids were both in bed for 6.30pm and partner was out until after midnight. You might think I'd spend the evening working and getting loads done on my new proposal... sadly, you'd be wrong.

Firstly, I did lots of pacing up and down to loud music to get into the mood. It worked as I managed to sketch a really crucial early scene. Unfortunately, I then got sucked into the nightmare that is Big Brother. Now the housemates I can take or leave, but Russell Brand, I could watch for hours. After that, I did a little bit of tweakage, and then instead of settling down properly and fleshing out the scene I ended up indulgently watching far too many clips of Gackt on YouTube. I'm not going to feel guilty, though. It was very inspiring.

Did I mention that he's really cute... and might just have inspired a certain character in Dark Designs.

Bye bye Dark Designs

Well, the proofs are done and sent. It proved to be a much easier job than I'd anticipated as the editor had made very few changes, so it was mostly just mopping up a few spelling mistakes. Course now I've done that I really ought to knuckle down and get on with the next proposal. Unfortunately I'm feeling incredibly flighty at the moment and can't seem to settle down to anything constructive for more than a few minutes.

I've also had some lovely feedback on Dark Designs from the editor, which is a nice confidence boost, considering I'm a typical paranoid writer, convinced that I only write crap and that nobody will ever want to read it, let alone like it. However, apparently, I have an accessible style with well-developed characters and a good handle on the homoerotic elements. My other half did suggest that maybe BL were dropping hints not to focus too heavily on that angle again as apparently it's not that popular as a female fantasy(grin) . Guess I'm in a minority(vbg) .

Friday, June 16, 2006

And more...

Hot on the heels of Dark Designs, I've had the proofs for Grandmother's Teapot, which is appearing in Sex & Shopping, and they want them all back by next Thursday. So, if I'm quiet for a few days, you know what I'm doing.

Anyway, here's the delicious cover.

Busy, busy, busy...

Here I am trying to plod on with current WIP and into Thea's mindset, when right on cue the proofs for Dark Designs land on my doorstep, and I'm back to Remy, Takeshi and Silk. Actually, it's pretty cool getting the proofs, as it's the first opportunity to get a real feel for what the book will look like. And it looks cool.

I spent a pleasant evening last night checking for errors and enjoying the story, which makes me thinks it's not too bad. I'm always convinced what I've written is dreadful. Mind you, it can't be that bad as the editing has been pretty light so far, and I've not been asked for any revisions - a first for me!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Finally getting somewhere...

... at least, I was. I think I've finally got a handle on my new heroine, Thea, and she's a bit of a firecracker. So, I've spent a fair old chunk of time over the last few days working on my partial, getting into her head and generally knocking into shape the opening chapter, when guess what?

a) Laptop dies.... again!
b) Annoyingly cute daughter destroys 2K of work by maliciously extracting memory stick from computer while I'm in the process of saving and hence destroys the file.
c) House descends into utter chaos due to us only having half a bathroom.
d) All of the above.

d, anyone? My karma is so pants at the moment.

My laptop is totally hit and miss. Sometimes it's fine, other times the display goes major league crazy. I'm talking no vertical hold and strange pulsating white patches. Guess it's time to start looking for a new one.

My daughter, well, I wouldn't trade her for anything, but she did manage to reduce me to tears with her attention grabbing exploits. But, I guess it's my fault. We shouldn't have named her after a Fury.

And, as for the bathroom... It's still not finished, but my tiling is ace!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bathroom Blues/Bliss

There's not much writing going on around here at the moment. We're busy fitting a new bathroom. It's long overdue, but boy, is it messy and time consuming. The weekend vanished in a blur of tile laying, plumbing and cladding. The house looks like a jumble sale, but we now have half a wonderful bathroom, so that if you lie in the bath and squint at the ceiling you can pretend it's all done. I'm really pleased with how it's coming along, but I do wish it was finished so I could get on with writing. I do an awful lot of writing in the bath, it being where I get all my best ideas, so I'm not just talking about the plumbing distractions.

Well, despite the lack of word count on my various projects, I have managed to get a few other writing related tasks done. My Tax Return is now filed... phew! Don't have to worry about that again for another year, and I've added a few promo type details to Romancewiki. Still working on the rest of the stuff for the Black Lace website update, though, and I must register with the PLR. Not that many libraries have an erotica section, but you never know...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Prolific only when ill.

Well, Saturday should have been a complete wash-out, considering I spent virtually the entire day in bed convalescing, but somehow it manged to be really productive. A fair portion of the seckrit project got done, so it's now past the halfway stage...hurray! I might even reveal what it is soon. Meanwhile, I'm thinking I should be ill more often considering how much more work I get done.... Only kidding...

Anyway, I'm now feeling considerably better. I still have a cold but the headache and itchy(!) throat are gone. Guess that means it's back to work as normal and a daily average word count of virtually zero.

In other news, we rewatched Ghost in the Shell, last night and I was suitably reimpressed. Amazingly the film has aged very little. It's still beautiful and profound. The only give away to it's age are the wires.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Website Update

I'm ill! It doesn't matter how much I pretend otherwise, the fact is I have a horrible head cold, and a chest infection. Today has been rather stressful as a result, but I've still managed to get quite a bit done, including a nice slice of my seckrit project, website update and the Black Lace author questionaire, so tomorrow I'm going to treat myself to a rare lie-in.

Don't expect too much from me over the next few days, I think I'm going to hide under a duvet, leave the kiddies in the capable hands of my other half, and only come out for emergencies.

Oh, and go check out the website update. I've included a chapter from Dark Designs.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Terrible Tuesday

Yes, I know it's Thursday, but it's taken me this long to regain my sense of humour following my day of woe.

It started off okay, then the Jacket Proofs for Dark Designs arrived... Now, I 've been looking forward to their arrival. The new Black Lace cover designs have been rather lovely, but to say I'm not fond of what I've ended up with is putting it mildly. Okay, my name is HUGE, and the colour is okay, as is the bloke. But the view up the woman's nose and the bad, bad hair, just don't do it for me... sigh... Let me know what you think, the image is below.

Disaster number 2 occurred when I took the kids to the park. In their infinite wisdom the local council have installed a beautiful fake castle flower bed that my 2 year old daughter decided would make an excellent playhouse, especially as it came complete with an obvious entrance. I think you can imagine the scenario, me charging after her before she disappeared under the planted roof, only to find myself a foot deep in mud and then flat out on my arse with her on top of me equally muddy. Yeah, figured you'd get the picture.

Which brings us to incident number 3. We put same child to bed as normal, but 10 minutes later when I go up to check on her, she's stark bollock naked, having removed her pajamas and nappy, and has christened the carpet, stood in it, and then put on my new boots .

Amazingly, I actually managed to do some work on both the novel and seckrit project after all this. So, I guess the day didn't go so badly.


Monday, May 22, 2006

Hush... Super seckrit project in progress

I've been working on my new secret project this weekend to give myself a break from the novel. All I'm saying it that it features several very pretty boys, and rather a lot of hot male sex. Oh, okay, it's also a helluva lot of fun to write as there's very little of the ordinary involved .

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Upset

Fucking, damn, useless heap of crap!

I swear I'm close to dropping my laptop in a very large puddle. Despite really struggling with my current WIP, it's never really got of the ground yet, I settled down this evening to plod on, not worry too much about what I was writing and see where things went. They went reasonably good, and to the tune of about 1000 words. Then, guess what, the damn hunk-of-junk freezes up and voila, I lose the lot, despite, autosave, autobackup, autorecovery, temp file hell.

'Yeah!' hollers my computer. 'I've recovered your document.' Like hell you have. You've recovered the file I opened an hour ago.

Can you tell I'm just a little bit tetchy?

Off to console myself, and engage in a bit of brainwashing. I wrote rubbish, it's really no loss. I wrote... No, dammit, it was good. <sob>

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dark Designs

Dark Designs and Sex & Shopping are now both listed on Amazon, both scheduled for release in November. No real details or covers yet, but it's still worth celebrating.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Cream

Cream: The Best of the Erotica Readers & Writers Association is now available on Amazon to preorder. I'm so chuffed to have my story Vegetable Medley in this anthology, alongside so many great writers.

Muddling along.

I've been playing pirates today...

In other news, I've just heard that my Sex & Shopping story Grandmother's Teapot, will appear alongside stories by BL chums, Portia Da Costa, and Saskia Walker.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ups and downs

My laptop died! It's been coming for awhile, so luckily most things were backed up. Still it's a royal pain. Busy sorting out a new hard drive, which will hopefully solve the problem until the next bit goes fratzz!

On the upside, Black Lace like my Teapots story. Hurray!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Naughty Me...

I’ve been very naughty over the last ten days or so. I haven’t written a thing, which isn’t good when you’re supposed to be a full time writer (good joke). I’m going to plead children with chicken pox, bathroom make-over (how stressful are they) and other generally bad news, but really I suspect I just needed a break.

Another reason for my temporary lack of productivity was operating system upgrade (read, reinstallation of everything), and sorting out Wi Fi, which meant two whole days without Internet access (eek!). Got to say though, Wi Fi, it’s so brilliant! Gone are the days when I spend twenty minutes trying to get my antiquated machine to connect via dial-up just to send an email, it’s now all systems go.

Anyway, the temporary hiatus hasn’t been completely unproductive. I may not have written anything, but it has given my plot and characters time to stew, and you know what – my villain is becoming more interesting for it. I’m beginning to like him rather a lot. More on him later, methinks… I don’t want to give anything away just yet.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Productive day

For the first time in ages today I got several hours to myself, away from children and other half to concentrate on outlining my new WIP. Got a good bit done too. I now have fairly together plot. Admittedly, it’s still hazy in places, where I need to do further research, or work out character details, but you know, that’s the way I like things. If there’s nothing to discover as I go along, I lose the impetus to write.

Anyway, I even wrote a few lines of the introductory chapter, and you know what – I think I’m going to enjoy writing this one. The bad guy has lots of potential, and since he’s a nasty piece of work, I’ve no qualms about him behaving like a total bastard.

Off to do some more tinkering…

Extreme sadness…

… or maybe that should be apologies for my extreme geekitude, but I figure if Tilly can do it, so can I

Here goes….

OMG ‘Advent Children’! It’s so cool!

Cloud, how gorgeous are you! And, Sephiroth, you are still the coolest bad guy in the history of bad guys. Can you tell that I’m impressed? It’s just so rare to find a sequel that doesn’t damage the original in any way.

Suppose I should point out here that if you happen to be one of the people out there that isn’t familiar with Final Fantasy VII, don’t bother. This film is not for you. It’s a personal gift to each and every fan.

sigh...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Pox!

Child number one has Chicken Pox... arrgh!
Chance of getting anything done on my new proposal - virtually zero.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ironing Pile of Doom!

Five hours!... ... Five bleeding hours. I can't believe I've just spent that long waving an electrified steaming device, when I could have been doing something productive like making a start on my new historical. The outline is now in a workable, if not entirely complete form, but sadly my brain is still in comtemporary land. I might have to go on a mammoth period film watching spree (any excuse.)

In other news, my Teapot story has received some positive comments from the folks over at ERWA, so I'm chuffed. Just need to get it in the post now, and hope that the Black Lace editor likes it as much .

Friday, April 14, 2006

Book Review - Entertaining Mr Stone

I first heard about this book on Wendy’s blog, where her enthusiasm for the project really grabbed my attention. I’ve read and enjoyed her books in the past, but the setting for Entertaining Mr Stone, local government offices, didn’t seem like a terribly sexy setting for an erotic novel. How wrong I was. The naughty S/M games going on in Borough Hall are a whole lot of fun.

Maria, the heroine, is unassuming and likeable, which makes the first person narrative an easy read. Stone is real gem. He’s witty, sexy and proves that maturity and experience can be far more attractive than a pretty face. Actually, he’s a real breath of fresh air when it comes to heroes in erotica/erotic romance.

As for the sex… Well, this is trademark Portia Da Costa, and she wasn’t labelled the Queen of SM for nothing! Verdict – definitely worth a read.

It's gone...

Dark Designs went off to Black Lace yesterday, so I can't do anymore tinkering. I'm sure it'll come back with a request for some tweaks but until then it's farewell to the scenario and the characters. I'm a little blue as a result. The thing is when you spend so much time thinking and writing about a set of characters is that you become rather attached. I always think that if I don't fall a little bit in love with my characters then nobody else will, hence the current wrench. Still, I've plenty to be getting on with. I've a rough outline (make that very rough) for my new historical, still plenty of polishing to do on my Sex and Shopping Story, and it's the dreaded Tax Return time of year. (eek!) First off, though, I'm going to treat myself to some trez, so watch out YesAsia and Amazon.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Website Live Again

Hurray! It's been a long slog to get my website back up and running after diary-x's server died, but finally I've succeeded. It's not quite as professional as Remittance girls original version, as I've had to cobble bits together from what I had saved, but I'm pleased with the result. I've also taken the opportunity to add a few more links and change over the short story from Vegetable Medley to Ice God. The former is to appear in Cream: The Best of the Erotica Readers and Writers Association Anthology, so it was time for a change around.
Anyway, hopefully I can now concentrate on actually doing some writing. Dark Designs is due a week today!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Sun has got his hat on...

hip...hip...hip hurray!

It's pay day! Royalties only turn up twice a year, so you'll have to excuse my celebrating.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Quickie Update

Teapots story is coming along. I'm having fun writing it, although, I suspect it might be a tad silly. One week to go until Dark Designs goes to the publisher, so I'm still scouring for errors and wordiness. Need to cull the word count a bit more too. Background for my new historical is starting to hook me since I've decided on the general location. I may try to visit a few places in the area concerned over Easter in between family visits. On the downside, still no character names, and until I have them nothing's really going to take off .

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

New Project Time

Not much to report over the last week. I’ve been feeling pretty exhausted, so I’ve let things slide a bit, but I’m now feeling much better for the rest, and the new exercise regime (combo of swimming, walking and dance mat). As of yesterday, I’ve begun researching ideas for a new historical proposal I want to write. My first book was a historical, but Black Lace stopped commissioning them for a long time so I moved on to contemporary. Hopefully, the shift back won’t be too difficult. Course, once I’ve a few details in place I need to start some serious planning. This is something at which I’m particularly crap. I find it nightmarish, nearly as bad as writing the synopsis, and actually, I’d much rather pants the whole book. The trouble with writing on the fly like that is I'm libel to write myself into a corner or take five years over the thing. Ah well, wish me luck. I may do a bit tonight, once I've made some headway on the ‘Teapots’ story.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Slow Progress

Never did manage to give myself any time off at the weekend. After deciding I was going to take Saturday evening off, I then switched the computer on and polished the add-in scene I’d drafted. I’m pretty happy with how it came out, and I think it fits neatly into the story and ties up a few lose ends, but I’ve also a sneaking suspicion that it could have been even better. My blasted laptop decided to crash part way through writing it, and lost everything. After much searching of temp files, I ended up starting over Now, maybe it’s me mythologizing things but when this happens (and it’s happened often enough, and yes, I have measure in place to try and avoid it) I’m always convinced that the first version was better. Having to reconstruct paragraphs of text really saps the immediacy you get in a first draft. And thinking erotic thoughts isn’t easy when you’re internally cursing the computer and trying to remember what you bloody well wrote.

Anyway, with that done, Dark Designs is now on hold until I get some feedback from my partner, so I’m trying to make some headway on my Sex and Shopping Story. I’m not sure how far I’m going to get with it. It’s a bit of random silliness involving teapots, but I do have another idea which is probably more commercial. The dilemma now is whether to begin the second story before I’ve finished the first. I know what I’m like, if I don’t complete one thing at a time, nothing gets finished.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Entertaining Saturday

I’ve been out today, meeting with the wonderful friends I made back in September 2005 on a screenwriting course. We meet up roughly every three weeks, mostly as a social thing, but a lot of the talk is writing related, and we do read each other’s work and offer thoughts and opinions. It’s a lovely way to while away a few hours on a Saturday, and still feel as though I’m doing something writing related. I normally come home really enthused about the whole writing experience, and full of ideas.

Unfortunately, today I came home feeling rather exhausted, nothing to do with the company, I've just been ill with various bugs recently and working long hours. Anyway, I didn’t expect to get anything done this afternoon, so, it’s much to my surprise that I’ve managed to sketch out a rough draft of one of the additional scenes for Dark Designs. It still needs work, of course, but I think I’ve managed to capture the right mood. I may see if I can tidy it up later, but I’m also tempted to give myself an evening off and use the time to catch up on some film or reading.

The other bit of excitement for today was the arrival of Entertaining Mr Stone, which Wendy (aka Portia Da Costa) kindly sent me. Wendy seems so enthused about this book, and the cover is so gorgeous, I’m just itching to snuggle up on the sofa and dive in. I’ve really enjoyed her previous works, so I’m sure I’m in for a wonderful bit of escapism. I’ll probably post my thoughts here once I’ve read it. But I must finish the current reading book first…


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Looking Up

Feeling much more positive today. After what looked like a total wash-out early on yesterday, I managed to knuckle down and do rewrites on five chapters of DARK DESIGNS, a fairly major achievement for me. It’s also left me feeling happier about the whole project. Previously, I’d reached a point where I was convinced it was dreadful and my editor was going to contact me and tell me never to send him anything ever again. Apparently, according to my partner, I get like this over every book, but I’m sure the others actually had proper storylines and decent characters, and weren’t just a load of inconsequential hogwash. I could be mistaken there…:-[) Anyway, after yesterday, I now think it’s maybe not too bad.

Today, I’m going to crack on and try to get to the end of the rewrites. That’ll leave me a month to polish and tweak, cull the word count a bit more (I always write long), and maybe find the space for a couple of additional scenes I really want to include. It’ll also give me time to put something together for the Sex and Shopping Anthology. I’ve some ideas jotted down, but characters seem reluctant to get down and do the deed, so I may need to approach it from another angle.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Deadlines & Displacement Activities

Not sure there’s anybody out there, but here goes…

This is probably the most insane time I could think of to start a blog. I’m only a month away from my deadline for my third Black Lace novel, DARK DESIGNS, and it still needs lots of work. I’ve a host of other projects (writing and reviewing) I want to work on, and at least a hundred jobs pending around the house. But, here I am. Instead of knuckling down to what I should be doing, I spent yesterday tinkering with blog settings and attempting to resurrect my currently offline website. And today, I’m sitting around waiting for the dishwasher repairman, so still no progress. But at least this is writing, and maybe it’ll get me to focus on what I want to achieve.

Okay, I’m determined to end this first post on a positive note. I’ve only recently heard that I’ve had a short story accepted for CREAM: The Best of ERWA Anthology. It’s my first non-Black Lace print publication, so I’m mighty chuffed. It might even inspire me to finish a few of the other shorts I’m working on.