I Think I’ve Cracked it!… Well Sort Of

Bonjour from the south of France! My family and I are on a mini trip. I recently wrote this writing prompt response on the word “successful” you can read it here if you missed it, I expressed my desire to move from what I feel is a real basic level of  French, and feel more confident in talking. I can read and write much better I feel. Well, I kid you not today I got us from the airport to the hotel via taxi, changed some money,  checked us in, asked for directions and got us to the city centre by walking , and even understood when someone in Mcdonalds told us ” there is extra seating on the floors above, please move up there”  all in French !  I understood the native speakers well, and thankfully they understood me. In addition to this standing in the line at the supermarket I had a conversation with a lovely French lady, who thought maybe we were American …. oddly.

I am over the moon I had to updated this blog post with my “success”

New Direction: Hybrid Author and Self Publishing?? #amwriting #writerslife

My gosh

It feels like an age since I sat down to update my author site, I’ve been a busy bee heading in a new direction. Yep! Looks like I’m now what they call a Hybrid author, after I gladly took back ownership of my first two novels I had traditionally published.  That’s it they are  mine! I have my rights back! And I have republished them. This week…. Why did I walk away from a traditional publisher, well I felt that sadly my work was not what I would have expected in terms of quality I work so so hard. I did a blog on this last year when I pulled one down from sale. I’d  be up at night thinking about it. And so I felt that I was happy to have my rights back over my independent work only, and do my own thing. Whether that be submit to another publisher or self publish, I decided nothing wrong with a bit of DIY so I went for the latter.

That does not mean I will never traditionally publish again, hell no! My  full manuscript for my third romance book has been requested by another publisher from last year, I’m working  on completing it.  I am happy to try other publishers. BUT it does mean I’ve learned a hell of a lot also, about me as a writer and if I feel better going it alone as an indie author, hybrid author  by the time I’ve finished the book  I’ll keep going. I have no regrets walking away, I feel better. Here’s what I’ve learned..

  1. Don’t  accept compromise on quality or your overall vision for your work . You will never truly be proud of your work.
  2. Chose carefully! Ask questions about processes and procedures, and see if you feel happy with the process your work will undergo. Then make sure that the procedures actually happen.
  3. Have balls, always if your gut tells you it’s not right, chances are it isn’t and you should listen.Don’t be nervous just be respectful and say how you are feeling.
  4. It does not matter how you are published! Once you have finished your novel, novella, short story whatever and it is out there in the world, you’re an author baby and a writer and that’s all that matters!
  5. Self publishing seems to have many benefits, if you understand the process well.I would urge any aspiring author to consider it and not hold out for that book deal, if you have passion go for it! Don’t look back. Put out some of your work and keep chasing the ideal publishing deal.

 

So that’s it! We’ll see what direction I go in now as a writer but one thing is for sure I’m not going to stop writing! This experience has unleashed something great that I truly don’t think I will ever live to regret. I tread these waters much more wiser! I’ll keep going down this road and see where I end up. It’s about the love of writing.

Eight Random Questions…

I came across a cute blog http://www.fromthissideofthepond.com/ as I started reading, I noticed “eight random questions” left for readers, kinda like a small writing prompt. A great way to get to know one another here’s my response. Take a look at the blog and maybe add yours.

1.What do/did you call your grandparents? If it’s something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you’re a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

I called my grandparents mama and poppa when they were alive. My gran died when I was fourteen, and my granddad when I was about twenty nine.

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? What’s one tourist attraction along the coast you’d add to your must-see list?

I’ve never been to California, the only place in the USA I’ve been to is Las Vegas. It was AMAZING! I’d love to see more of the USA, New York especially.

3.What are three things you don’t know how to do?

Play the piano or any instrument, I’d love to be able to. Paint my nails on my right hand as good as my left it takes me longer, drive on the right hand side of the road. Well I’ve not tried yet, but I think I should some day.

4.Tom Peters is quoted as saying, ‘Celebrate what you want to see more of.‘ If that’s true, what and how will you celebrate?

Who?.. Anyway  I’d like to more intolerance in the world, more tolerance of other faiths and races.  Especially toward black/ Hispanic males, I have a son to raise in a tough world, that’s not that tolerant towards “his kind”.  In the UK it’s pretty OK and here he’s safe but then I hear all the stories from #blacklivesmatter from the USA and how many young Hispanic, or African-American males are killed, and how bad their relationship can be (on TV) with the police and it’s heart breaking. So I’d like to celebrate more tolerance and less stereotyping of any religion or race.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What’s something you make that calls for almonds?

Eh,neither I don’t like  almonds at all… how about Cashew Nut Day instead??

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

Ha! Oh boy, well I’m jumped on, have my eyes kissed and poked open about 8:00a.m the usual greeting from my son, then we get up, I make coffee and he watches some TV … Then I decide what the plan is for the day if we don’t already have plans as a family. Normally, Saturday morning is food shopping day also. Saturday morning is quite lively in my house.
7. Share with us a favourite book you’ve read this winter.

Gosh, wow, I have spent most of my time writing, but I have dipped in to “Voyage en France” also a young adult book written in French I’m reading to help improve my French comprehension.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

“Why the hell does it rain so much in London … I’ve got to head out in the next hour!”

 

 

 

 

 

Ah! The Ups & Downs of Writing- Has This Happened To You Writers? #amwriting #learning

Today has been a very productive day for me writing wise, it’s just 3:00 p.m London time and already I have one complete chapter done! But let me tell you, it did not start out like this. First, last night I left off writing thinking okay tomorrow, I’ll come back and w,x ,y,z is  the focus. Previously, I had wrote  about four chapters  of my current thriller, then I ripped it to shreds (a year later late 2016).  But I kept my vision and story line,  I was not a fan of how I wrote “the vision.” So anyway, I started out again. Last night I was  so so so sure I kept the old version … somewhere, I just had to have it, right? Of course somewhere.

Today I thought I’d  go back to it, as I’m  writing a scene that now fits with what I wrote before  a lot better. I went back to my external hard drive the most logical place to look- it wasn’t there, I searched my whole lap top- it wasn’t there. I started to panic, no panic is not the word I started to curse loudly, in a very un lady like way LOL (thank God my son’s at nursery he’s now at the tender age of three, and he repeats EVERYTHING he hears this is how he picks up his vocabulary).

For about five mins, I just sat behind the lap top staring out the window at the rain, then back at my lap top, then at the hard drive in a foul mood. I wanted to pick everything up off the table and chuck it out the window onto the main road and curse  and let a car run over everything! But that would not have helped… so I didn’t  🙂 I  questioned myself, where did I save my old work? Did I really delete it off my external hard drive, once I rewrote the story ? What  have I done with it, I’ve lost at least four  fucking chapters!!  Was all that went through my head.

Then I turned the house upside down, looking for my old USBs  from a few years ago, hoping to God I found them. There it was … all 20,000 words of my old manuscript ahhh sighs of relief, break out the violins please.  I swear I could literally feel the happy hormones taking over my body again 🙂 all I had to do now was hope to God, what I was looking for was  saved on this particular USB I found.

THANK THE HEAVENS! There it was, OMG one chapter down, go Kim *high five.* *Shake it around the living room like Beyonce would* I got my happy dance on y’all 🙂

What I learned today, is NEVER ever move your work (no matter how old) from the main place you save it to another, never ever delete anything as you never know you may want to go back to it, as I did today, rewrite it, change it, add it to another story whatever. The point is save,save,save no matter how rubbish you think it is. Which is how I felt when I started to rewrite the chapters and clearly moved it off my external hard drive. I thought it was a pile of shit to be honest what I had wrote. But obviously not crap enough to delete completely, just crap enough to move from my current work and published work. Why the hell I did it, I honestly don’t know.

Writers has this ever happened to you? Have you ever lost work? Or re found it and got your happy dance on?  Have you deleted something and then tried your hardest to recover it? Tell me your story! Drop me a comment.

 

 

Writing Prompt Challenge week 7: Music to Write By #amwriting #MFRWauthor #writerslife

It’s week seven of the romance authors fifty two week writing prompt  challenge, this week it’s music we write to. Oh boy! Where oh where do I even start with this. My musical taste is so diverse ( just how I like my characters in my stories). I listen to pretty much anything but heavy metal, mainly as I can’t dance to that- who can? Show me how?!

I Like

  • 50s-70s soul and motown.
  • Modern music from today.
  • Hip hop ( old stuff)
  • French soul and hip hop
  • 90’s stuff
  • Pop
  • Soft rock ( like P!ink)
  • Classical
  • Jazz
  • Everything!

When I write it depends on the mood I’m in and what scene I’m writing, I’ll be honest and say as a romance writer I don’t actually listen to love songs when I write ( weirdly). When I wrote A Stranger in France I listened to a lot of French soul singers, motown, soul and classical piano music. Music really features in the book. When I wrote Not Just for Christmas it was actually summer! No where near Christmas and I remember listening to a lot of upbeat summer music from the modern times, mainly the radio. For Code Redhead- A Serial Novel, my contribution story I wrote  mainly while I listened to the sound track from Fifty Shades of Grey * wink, I had fun with that story!

When I’m behind schedule, like maybe I’m in a panic that I won’t meet a deadline agreed with a publisher, or I just have not focused myself well for whatever reason. I don’t suffer writer’s block I’ve found a way to beat it, you can find out how I have done that by clicking here, but sometimes I sit down to write and I “faaf” around reading other blogs, watching Youtube or just browsing the internet,  looking at God knows what, and before I know it, it’s time for bed. When that happens and I fall behind my target, I need to listen to classical music as it will focus me, mainly piano classical does the job really well. I found a sound track on Spotify Player that really focuses me.

When I’m on track and feeling good, I go with the flow I just load up Spotify and let it do it’s thing, but I always write with music, I find it hard not to.

 

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Romance: The Good, The Bad & Ugly Kim’s Blog Hop + Giveaway. ALL can sign up #bloghop #romance #valentines #amwriting #meetupatkimsblog

Hi guys,

It’s the month of looove and Valentine’s Day is approaching. Valentine’s is always special to me, it’s my birthday, I enjoy the whole romance and love theme naturally, and it will be my first ever attempt to host a link up/ blog hop or writing prompt. Call it what you want, but you know what I mean…so since you have arrived sign up and take part, tell me and other readers…

How has “the month of love” been treating you this year? How was Valentine’s Day for you? Share your memorable, cringe worthy, funny, loving and romantic moments that happened during this month, and /or on Valentine’s Day itself.  Or be open and express yourself and your general views on the good and bad about love and Valentine’s Day. Let readers know your honest thoughts, feelings, joys, or frustrations with love in general, and the whole concept of Valentine’s day.Whether you’re single, married, divorced or somewhere in between, gay, straight or somewhere in between everyone is welcome! Whatever you write, just be free and easy, the only theme is your thoughts/experience with romance and love this month and Valentines Day.

I promise I won’t steal your experience and put it in my next romance novel 🙂 🙂

Notes/giveaways 

  1. If you are a fellow author taking part, and you wish to host a giveaway on your author site when you take part feel free!  Readers, check out all the authors taking part for a freebie maybe.
  2. I will giveaway a free e-book version of either A Stranger in France or Not Just for Christmas or Code Redhead – A Serial novel to the ten blogger’s I enjoyed reading the most! You decide what e-book you’d like. 
  3. This link up and hop / writing prompt will run from the 14th February 2017- 28th February 2017 winners will be notified  by the 7th March 2017. The link entries button will close on the 25th February, just add your link as a comment instead if you enter after the 25th.
  4.  Sign up by adding your link to your website/blog below. Use #MEETUPATKIMSBLOG in your post so readers can find your blog or
  5. Once you have blogged a response, post your DIRECT  link to your actual post below for others to read and visit your blog directly to the post.
  6. Then visit, like and read other posts also. And Share the love, add the link up code to your blog or link back to this post. And if you want to re-blog this and get others involved.

The link to post your blog link is OPEN now if you want to get in early….

Share this post and participation on your own blog with the button below

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Writing Prompt Challenge Week 6: Is it Possible For A Writer To Have Other Hobbies??- Passion for #fashion #amwriting #MFRWauthor

I’ve  just discovered a really cool new blog for romance writers, they are doing a fifty two week writing prompt challenge for romance authors. Each week a different prompt for the whole of 2017. So of course I’m on board, you know I LOVE a writing prompt so here goes… I’ve joined at week six- hobbies.

I have a lot of interests, and a few hobbies. At times I wish I could turn all my interests into hobbies and  have time for everything! But my one true passion that will never die, outside writing has to be fashion and beauty. Reading about it, practising it, watching it on You Tube it does not matter to me. When I comes to fashion I like to customise clothes, I can sew clothes (well) and read dressmaking patterns ( well), and I like to draw pictures of clothing designs (I wish I could draw better!). Below are some pictures of dresses that I have made. I made these while pregnant with my son three years ago, I stopped sewing when I was too pregnant to fit behind my sewing machine LOL. I have spent my free time mainly writing  since, so I have not made anything for what feels like forever. My last project was an abandoned blazer.

 

 

To be fair I look back at these dresses and know I could have done a bit better, but I’m proud of them still. I was pregnant and my patience was not that great!

So how did this hobby start? Well, I learned to sew mainly from school I took textiles in high school ( secondary school) as my creative /art subject as an option. I loved learning how to use a machine,  and all about fabrics, making projects along with English it was my favourite subject. I was fourteen at the time when I picked the option. After two years of study, at sixteen I finished high school with a GCSE in Textiles. By the time I was sixteen I was dead set on pursing a creative career either in fashion or as a make-up artist. I still enjoyed writing, but funny back then I never saw myself as an actual published author. My eye was on the fashion and beauty world.

My nana, when she was alive also sewed A LOT she never used patterns she would just create, I remember spending time with my nana and I’d  just watch her and how she used the machine. I must have been about ten or maybe younger as she passed away when I was fourteen by the time I picked this as a qualification at school.My dressmaker’s stand, above in the picture is actually called Lucinda after my nana in her memory.

Over the years I have collected so many patterns for dresses, tops, trousers, blazers. My favourites are the vintage Vogue patterns my mum bought me. I like to use patterns from other designers ( eg shop bought ones) and adapt them to my liking.

I did a make-up course when I left school at sixteen, and a few years ago I did another one just for fun like a “hobby”. I am yet to complete it, but for all the practical assignments I did on a model I passed with 100%, for recreating the look specified by the teacher. I will carve out some time to complete it.

So yes, authors do have other interests but writing, and they do do other things but write … but it does not mean we have time for all of them, as writing always comes first. 🙂

 

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