Let’s Talk Vacations! #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from A. S. Fenichel’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

This week’s we’re talking vacations. 

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I love summer. I love the sun beating down, I love the sound of the gulls overhead, I love the warm ocean lapping at my feet and the feeling of sand between my toes.

Sadly, it’s quite hard to get that experience in Essex, UK. Unless you count Southend — which does have a beach of kinds, not to mention the longest pleasure pier in the world (the best claim to fame ever). But sadly the water there is anything but warm, and I’m more likely to feel rain plastering my hair to my head than the blissful rays of the sun.

Case in point – I was at the seafront in Southend yesterday. Here’s the pic I took. Welcome to the British summer.

Southend

Southend-on-Sea, Essex, UK

This is pretty much why I start planning our family vacations in January. Because we need something to look forward to! This year we will be vacationing in Italy, first spending ten days on the banks of Lake Garda. Looks kind of lovely doesn’t it? And a bit of a contrast to the UK.

Aerial view from Scaglieri castle on Lake Garda and town of Sirmione in Italy.

Lake Garda

Our lakeside visit will be followed by a few days exploring Venice. As an author (and loving wife 😉 ) the idea of a few days in the city of lovers appeals to me. Especially as we’ll be dragging two reluctant teenagers around with us! Ah the romance…

Beautiful water street - Grand Canal in Venice, Italy

Venice

So the big question is will I be writing when on holiday? I guess the truism is that writers never take a vacation, we’re too busy soaking everything up for that. But the good thing is that the whole reason we’re vacationing in Italy this year is because I spent most of January researching the country to write a book, and fell in love with it. Though I can’t tell you much about the book yet, it is a romance (of course) set in a beautiful villa on the banks of Lake Como. George Clooney’s favourite hideout. As soon as I looked into the beauty of the country, the magnificence of the food, and the fact the sun actually shone there in the summer, I was hooked. So while I’m there I’ll be checking everything out, to make sure I’ve described it accurately. I suspect I’ll need to eat a lot of ice creams just to make sure!

How about you? Are you going anywhere nice this year? And by the way, despite my miserable picture, Southend on Sea on a warm day is a wonderful place to visit. So if you have no other plans, jump on a train and come down there. I’ll meet you on the pier with a bag of chips.

Now let’s hop over to Leslie Hachtel’s blog to see what she thinks of vacations. And when you’re done there, don’t forget to check out some of her books!
 Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Depositphotos & authors own.

What’s in your bag? #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop


What's in your bagWelcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Brenda Margriet’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

Brenda’s asked us all to share what’s in our bags. So with a little trepidation (because it can get scary in there) here goes!

Bag

 

KINDLE

I never go anywhere without it. I’d even go as far as to say I have a pathological fear of being stranded somewhere without a book. Like so many others I have about 200 unread books on there, just waiting for me to land on that desert island. Maybe one day!

NOTEBOOK & PEN

I’m an old fashioned kind of gal, so if I see some plot or character inspiration while I’m out, I like to be able to jot it down. That notepad is full of ideas and throwaway lines, ones that catch my fancy. And the older I get the more I need to write things down, otherwise I forget them!

LIPGLOSS

Just because!

HAND LOTION

This was given to me by a lovely reader and blogger at a signing event. It has the most delicious smell, and I take it everywhere with me.

BACH FLOWER REMEDY

This is supposed to calm me down when I get too stressed, except when I’m stressed I forget to use it. Doh!

TRAIN TICKETS

I seem to be getting a collection of these. I have to keep the ones I use for work to put into my accounts. The rest, well I guess I’m just a train ticket hoarder!

UMBRELLA

Because I live in the UK!

PURSE / WALLET

It’s a big one, but it fits everything in. Notes, credit cards, receipts, they’re all in there and stuffed to the gills!

 

I was actually surprised to find so little in there. The reason for this is that yesterday I travelled to London for the evening, and had a good clean out before I left. I did come home with half a bottle of wine in there, but luckily for me and you, I took it out as soon as I got home. Otherwise this picture would paint a different story altogether!

Now let’s hop over to S.C. Mitchell’s blog to see what’s in his pockets, because I don’t think he carries a bag!. And when you’re done there, don’t forget to check out some of his books!

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Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Author’s own.

Where I write… #LoveChatWrite Blog Hop

Welcome to this week’s Romance Writer’s Weekly Blog Hop. If you’ve arrived from Victoria Barbour’s blog, hi, and thanks for joining me!

This week’s topic comes from author Brenda Margriet – and we’re talking about our perfect writing space.

young beautiful woman lays on a grass in park with a diary in hands

One of the best things about being a writer is the versatility of it all. Unlike my previous jobs which involved being tied into a location — whether that be an office, a factory or a shop — when you’re a writer, the world really is your oyster. I’ve written in so many places it’s hard to keep track. In the kitchen, the dining room, in bed, in the garden; and that’s just in my own home. As long as I have a pen and paper (or in my case a Macbook) I can pretty much write wherever I go.

Last year on vacation I spent an hour a day writing on our beautiful patio overlooking the pool. That was pretty memorable, and I have to admit that it may be my ideal place.

I also spent a day last year writing at Hampton Court Palace. Once the home of Henry VIII (and many of his wives!) writing in the beautiful gardens gave me a sense of history and longevity that made me feel energised.

On a normal (!) day, I’ll mostly write in my dining room. Here’s a picture of my space here:

Carrie

One of the things I love about writing in my dining room is the sense of light and space it gives me. I have a lovely view of the garden here, and can watch the birds, the cats, and my dog chasing around on the grass. I’m also within easy reach of the kitchen, which means coffee on tap – a must for writing days!

I also like the fact that I have a big table to spread out on. The wooden surface is usually covered in sheets of paper — character bios, locations, story plots etc. And then at the end of the day I’ll gather it all together and put on the shelf behind me, ready to serve up dinner to the masses, a real one-stop shop.

Of course, the real question is, where would my ideal writing spot be. For me there’s no question. It has to be hot, needs a good view, and most of all it needs to be comfortable. A cabana on a tropical beach springs to mind. Preferably one that has waiter service (with cocktails on tap in the afternoon). Now I just need to win the lottery!

Beach Cabana on a maldivian island

Now let’s hop over to S.C. Mitchell’s blog to see where he likes to write. And when you’re done there, don’t forget to check out some of his books!

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 Until next time,

Carrie Pink

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Photo credits: Depositphotos & authors own.

Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite #LoveWriteChat – 2nd September

Romance Weekly ChatDo you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

If you’ve arrived from Mischka Jenkins’ blog, hi and thanks for clicking! This week’s questions are brought to you by Ronnie Allen.

 

1.  When do you decide that you’ve done enough editing and changes would now be making it different, not better?

This is a tricky one. Whenever I read something I’ve written, it’s always with a critical eye. I’m never truly happy with the outcome, there’s always something I think I could improve on. But I also believe that over editing can kill the heart of a story–there has to be a happy medium. So nowadays I do three main edits, followed by two proofs. After that, I leave it for the readers to decide if I’ve done enough.

 

2.  When and how do you accept advice by rejection letters and critique partners?

Honest answer? All the time. I’m so aware how little distance I have from my own writing, so I rely on my critique partners and beta readers to give me an honest run down of how they see the story. I’ve made a lot of changes based on feedback from both them and editors, and I truly believe it makes for a better story. I love my cps and beta readers so much, and I owe them a lot. I want to take them all away to a desert island and pamper them in thanks!

 

3.  When you’re not writing how do you spend your day?

If I’m not writing, I’m either editing, marketing, or doing something completely unrelated. I do have a job, plus a family that keeps me busy. I’m all too aware I neglect the house and the laundry in favour of my fictional characters, but I try not to neglect my kids! So if I’m not writing you might find me neck-deep in homework assignments, or driving them to soccer practice or scout meetings. And very, very occasionally, I also fit in a date night with my gorgeous husband.

 

 

Thank you to Ronnie for these questions, they were a lot of fun to answer. And now to read more Romance Weekly Blog Hop go to  http://jrrichardsonfics.wordpress.com/ and read the fabulous Jo Richardson’s answers.

Carrie Pink

 

Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite #LoveWriteChat – 15th July

Romance Weekly ChatDo you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

If you’ve arrived from Elizabeth Jannette’s blog, hi and thanks for clicking! This week’s questions are brought to you by Jo Cursed be the Wicked finalRichardson, whose amazing book Cursed be the Wicked is one of my favourite reads so far this year!

 

 

1.  How Often do you Write?

writing like crazyHonest answer? As often as I can. Sometimes this can mean daily, sometimes only a couple of times a week. I have written as much as 15,000 words in a week, and as little as nothing. I have a full time job plus a family, so writing (also known as me-time) has to fit around those.

But one day, I’ll have my own little garrett and hide away from the world. At that point, I plan to write at least 5000 words a day!

 

2.  Do you think it’s important to your craft to write as much as you can, and as often as you can?

1000 wordsI think it definitely helps. Writing is like any muscle–it works best when exercised often. However, writing doesn’t just mean writing your story. I often jot down little descriptive paragraphs that take my fancy, or write reviews of books where I can use descriptive words to really show what I liked about them.

And no, I don’t always write 1000 words a day. Sometimes a lot more, often a lot less. But it’s a good target to aspire to!


3.  What is your opinion on the saying “if you don’t write every day, you’re not a writer”?

who am i to judgeThis t-shirt says it all. Who am I to judge? If you write, you’re a writer. Whether it takes you ten years or ten days to write a book, everybody’s different. I thank God we have authors like Donna Tartt, who took around six or seven years to write The Goldfinch. On the other end of the scale, the voracious reader in me loves the fact that Elle Casey releases a book every month. Both of them are writers, but the way they do it is very different.

I guess what I’m saying is the only person I can judge is myself. Do I call myself a writer? Sometimes. But I’m also a worker, a mum, a wife, a daughter. And I love being all of these things.

 

GIVEAWAY!!

The writers of romance weekly are celebrating our 6 month anniversary with a MASSIVE rafflecopter giveaway. If you haven’t entered already, please hurry and do so. You can find the link here: ROMANCE WEEKLY RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

Thank you to Jo for these questions, they were a lot of fun to answer. And now to read more Romance Weekly Blog Hop go to http://www.brendamargriet.com/blog and read Brenda Magriet’s answers!

Carrie Pink

 

Romance Weekly #LoveChatWrite #LoveWriteChat – 8th July

Romance Weekly ChatDo you like to read romance novels? Wouldn’t you like to know more about your favorite authors? Well you came to the right place! Join the writers of Romance Weekly as we go behind the scenes of our books and tell all….. About our writing of course! Every week we’ll answer questions and after you’ve enjoyed the blog on this site we’ll direct you to another. So come back often for a thrilling ride! Tell your friends and feel free to ask us questions in the comment box.

If you’ve arrived from Jeanna E. Mann’s blog, hi and thanks for clicking! This week’s questiocertaintyns are brought to you by Jeanne McDonald, whose amazing new book The Certainty of Deception  will be published this week!

 

 

1.  How did you go about choosing the names for your characters?

A funny story about this. I’ve been writing ever since I was a child (Enid Blyton was my go to writer in those days. I used to dream of lazy days by the tennis court aspartacusnd midnight feasts by the pool!) And in every single one of those stories I wrote as a kid I called my heroine ‘Claire’. Why, you may ask? Simple – that was my best friend’s name, and who better to cast in every story than the person I liked the most.

Hopefully my more recent characters are slightly more sophisticated than those multitude of Claires, but that doesn’t make naming them any easier.

My go-to resource when choosing names nowadays is to look at the most popular names for the year of the character’s birth. The lists tend to have a choice of 100, which is more than enough for me.

I also take into account where they are from, the names of the supporting characters (it would be a little confusion to have an Ella and an Emma), and finally (perhaps most importantly) whether the name ‘suits’ them. It isn’t always easy as you can see!

 

2.  Where did the inspiration for your current book come from?

My current work-in-progress is set in the same ‘world’ as the book that’s due to be published in the fall of 2014. The first in the series is called ‘Coming Down’ and the second has a working title of ‘Breaking Through’.

Coming Down was only ever supposed to be a stand alone, and it certainly has no cliff hanger or unresolved story. But two supporting characters–friends of the heroine–stood out to me so much that I felt they deserved their own book. Breaking Through is about the strains that a change in direction can put on a marriage. The couple start out strong, but then they have a baby, and the band the husband has been playing in for years suddenly breaks through and becomes famous, taking him away from his family when they need him most.

Where did I get the inspiration for both these stories? I guess firstly I wanted to base a book in the part of London I love the most–the East End. Where this was once a run-down part of the city, nowadays it is up and coming. Plus there have always been the more salubrious parts–Islington springs to mind–but places like Shoreditch and Hoxton have become our equivalent of Greenwich Village in NYC.

The second reason for writing the book was that I wanted strong female characters. In both books, they are fighting against circumstances, but they get through their trials by working hard, not by leaning on a man for support all the way. That doesn’t mean there’s no romance involved–quite the contrary–but they don’t expect the men to solve all their problems.

 

3.  What methods do you use to ensure you have no plot holes (journal, storyboard, outline, editor, etc.)?

Ooh, good question. I tend to be a plotter, rather than a pantser (although I’m trying to be less anal about it) which means I can try to iron plot holes out before I even start. But this isn’t the whole story. I also revise religiously (about three or four times before anybody else even sees it), then plot holehave beta readers who comment with their thoughts. The next step in the process is sending it to my editor, and finally before I ever hit ‘publish’ I let my husband read it.

To say Mr E is anal is an understatement. He writes policies and speeches for a living and has a keen eye for holes. When I give him a galley copy of my book, it’s always given back covered with red pen. And his little comments never fail to make me laugh.

 

 

GIVEAWAY!!

The writers of romance weekly are celebrating our 6 month anniversary with a MASSIVE rafflecopter giveaway. If you haven’t entered already, please hurry and do so. You can find the link here: ROMANCE WEEKLY RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

 

Thank you to Jeanne for these questions, they were a lot of fun to answer. And now to read more Romance Weekly Blog Hop go to http://scmitchell.wordpress.com/ and read S.C. Mitchell’s answers!

Carrie Pink