Motherhood & Writing! Oh Boy… #writerslife #motherhood #amwriting #kdsuspense

Firstly I love both my jobs as writer and mum. Sometimes it’s a challenge to do both!  Take today for example, and the crazy situation I’m in now… Last night I was up late working on book #3 of my Romance Set In Paradise series.  I fell into bed at the same exact time,  our editor sent back the proof read manuscript of The Suspenseful Collection Volume One . I didn’t see the email as it was the second I was in bed, reading an email from my partner in crime Didi   basically saying ” go to bed what are you doing up?” Argh!! I wish I had stayed up a little later! I could have done one of two things. One set to work on the final book for The Suspenseful Collection Volume One, then send it over to Didi, so she can work on her parts while I slept. Or two send it straight to her, so she can work on it while I slept. Then work on my parts  tonight when the house is quiet. Either one of these options would have allowed us to meet the deadline we both agreed, (today) to have it finalised and uploaded on all platforms this weekend. Then we’re free to enjoy the weekend with our children.

In a lot of ways the seven hour time difference between us works to our advantage, when writing stories. One works while the other sleeps, then she wakes up to something to work on while the other sleeps.

Thursday and Friday I don’t work at the “day job” anymore. I love to have quality time with my three year old son, these early years are important. We also have the whole weekend together as a family when I’m off. It’s all about work  life balance now for me, at this stage of life I’m at as a mum and writer. I’m so glad I’ve reduced my working hours. That said since I went to bed the second the manuscript came back, when I woke up I called my son’s nursery for an extra day today to meet deadlines.  He loves that place! I dropped him off,  then raced home so I can set to work. Today’s goal is to perfect my parts of the manuscript before Didi wakes up, that will be around late afternoon  London time. So she can then juggle her day as mum and writer and meet deadlines too.

Here’s breakfast to set me up to edit, rewrite, and create a bangin’ set of eight suspenseful stories for y’all! A bacon sandwich with a coffee. Mmm my favourite.

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Here’s the last song I heard on the radio, as I drove home from my son’s nursery. I love Outkast what happen to them? I remember buying the album this song is on. Throw back Thursday was yesterday but hey, music always puts me in the mood to write. So I’m throwing it back all the way to 2013 on Friday with Outkast’s song “roses”. The lyrics make me die with laughter!

 

Are you a mum and a writer? Or a carer for someone else and writer? How do you juggle all the demands? Let me know I’d love to hear your stories.

Have a great day all ! I better set to work the clock is ticking. Didi will be up soon.

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Romance Writer’s Blogging Challenge Wk #28: Life Lessons In My Books #MFRW #amwriting

I’m late again, damn-it but I’ve arrived! This week romance writers were asked, to talk a bit about the lessons within their stories. Hmm, let’s see well quite a lot are in mine! I like to write about life dilemmas and real issues within romance. When it comes to crime and thriller, I try to have this spin on it too.

Here’s a lovely four star review I received this week, with feedback on this very subject. Thank you reader. Your feedback let’s me know I got it right… I wrote it right.

havana Heat

This is an interesting story because it shows the problems of trying to find love when previous relationships always rear their ugly head and seem to spoil what could be promising new beginnings. The couple in this story have to face just such problems before they can try to get together. I enjoyed the authors take on this dilemma and how she dealt with it. This is a really good beginning to a series.

So what are your messages and lessons Kim?

Well, I always touch on real life issues no matter what I’m writing. Be it a heart felt romance or a gritty bit of crime/thriller/suspense. Here’s a quick break down of what I was thinking when I wrote these stories.

A Stranger in France: This story touches on many things, jealousy, emotional abuse, life changing decisions a woman can make, and survival. All wrapped up around loooooove. The life lesson I guess in this story is that relationships are about give and take, and should never be one sided. Love can be found in the most random places, at the most unexpected time. When we find it, go with it.

 

Not Just For Christmas: Aww I loved writing this novella. It’s such a realistic story-line it could happen in real life. How far would a person go to find love? Many use online dating. This is online dating with a cute twist. The message in this story I guess is to take a leap of faith, sometimes when things don’t work out it happens for a reason. If you find something that could be worth a try, give it a go. A leopard can change its spots.

Havana Heat: This books is steamy. 🙂 But like the reader who left me that review said, Sometimes the past needs to be buried fully before we can move forward. If not you may miss that second chance love. I loved writing this novella too.

Lover’s Retreat: This is a lil’ steamy too. 🙂 Well, this one is all about personal growth. Sometimes we need to make a journey in life, that we may not know we have to make to be a better person. Once we make it we always end up in a better place. No matter how shit we feel at the time, while making the journey to self discovery. Also, we must love ourselves before we can love others.

The Suspenseful Collection: Volume One (with Didi Oviatt): Ha!! This anthology I loved writing every second of with her. It started out as nothing more than writing buddy challenges. It went well! It’s like we morhpe into each other, and create one great story it’s so scary when I read them back!! … And yes if you’re wondering we will be returning to the weekly writing challenges, and engaging with you all at the end of July.  In this anthology of tales there are a lot of strong women, quite vivid male characters too. We have some crazy ones, a bad boy, a love able mature Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.  I guess the message in this anthology, is really about taking  readers on a journey. Placing readers in the character’s shoes whether they are sane… or not so sane in some stories.

Overall, I’d say my stories are always based on some kind of realism or life situation. I like to give my character’s issues, good and bad, make them grew and turn out better people. After all, that’s what we all want as people right? To be the best we can be.

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Random: The Forgotten Art Of Writing #writerslife #amwriting

This evening I swapped one form of writing for another. I left behind my imaginary friends who speak to me, even in my sleep. I picked up a pen and paper, turned on the radio, poured a glass of wine. I  attended to my ever growing letter reply pile. Yep! I have penpals, near and far all over the world.

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This here is my rather messy desk and letters. It’s here that I write my novels, daydream and write hand written letters too.  It’s after 11:00pm here in London, so the picture is not that bright, but you get the jest. Just thought I’d share a little personal picture of my creation space.

How did I start penpaling?:

Good question. About almost five years ago now, I started to take my French language learning seriously. I attended classes, worked online etc, but it was not the same. Learning academically became very boring., and I could not always make my classes. I wanted to make it fun, so I joined some online forums for language exchange partners. I also found out there were people out there, who love letter writer writing as much as me! I found some cool geeks to hang with, and I found some French speaking penpals. 🙂  I was on cloud nine lemme tell ya!

So the whole process started by exchanging my English for French, with others who wanted a language exchange in a fun informal way.  I saw it as a way to remain fluent in the language and improve my grammar. It then grew, I started writing to English speaking pals, who had great profiles that I that contacted me. I have about awww maybe fourteen penpals now.

We write often at least once a month. Of late I’ve dropped off a bit, due to knocking out some serious word count for my books. The pile is growing to respond to.

Why write letters? You can send an email Kim.

Yeah, I hear ya. I know. But as a writer there’s something about hand written letters, that really appeals to me. It always has done, and always will. Some of my penpals I have been in contact with since day one. That’s a long time!

It’s also really cool to get to know someone via a slow burn way. Nothing is instant, and for me personally, the friendships I’ve maintained with my girlfriends via letter is very real. We talk about everything, and I mean everything. Once you click and bond with a pal via letter it’s such a great feeling. I also like to learn about different cultures and ways of life. My pals are all over the world.

Where are your pals?

In these counties:

USA

France

Canada

Austria

Germany

Brazil

Japan

UK

Australia

 

Have you met any of your pals?

Yeah, sure I have I met two actually. My pal who lives in Paris she came to London last year. After a good few years of writing, it was mind blowing to hear her actual Parisian accent.  Also my pal who lives in the south west coast of the UK, in a little place called Cornwell. Miles from London a good five hour train ride. I went to Cornwell on holiday last year. It was amazing to meet her in person we got on just as well, our sons also bonded well.

How has letter writing influenced me as a writer?

Well, if you’ve read A Stranger in France you’ll see exactly how it has influenced me! When I wrote that novel, I used letter writing to help tell the story, via the classic show don’t tell writing trick writers use. It’s a great trick to play out stories, and keep readers turning pages. Many use it via narration in third person or via dialogue, I did it via letter writer using first person from each character’s point of view. I totally broke the rules…  Cool huh? I also used in in Not Just For Christmas too, well that was e-mail to be fair, but I used it as show don’t tell. 

 

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This right here is my journal, on top of my laptop I write my novels on. I also write in  my journal daily. I have done for as long as I can remember. My earliest “dear diary” memories are from primary school, when I was about ten years old! My earlier diaries from my teens and twenties I threw away. I’m gutted I wish to God I never. I have diaries now dating back to when I was thirty years old. New Year’s Eve just gone, I actually read them all! I looked back at my life from the age of thirty -thirty four.

Letter writing is a form of expression I love. You have to sit and think about what you wish to say and how. A bit like when I write a chapter in a book, but a lot less formal… I’m not so caught up on grammar or punctuation. My pals probably read some of my letters and think sheeit and she calls herself a damn writer?  Mwwahha! it’s true I just write as if I’m talking to my pals it’s so informal. My French grammar is not perfect either, even after all these years. My French pals must think I’ve learned very little after all these years. But hey! I’m trying.. the language structure is so different to English.

So that’s my other hobby and form of self expression outside novel writing. I love letter writing.  It’s a forgotten art and I don’t think may people journal either.Who here writes hand written letters still? Anyone?  Who here writes in a  journal??

** listens out for the wind rustling the leaves**

Throwback Thursday!! #music #writerslife #throwbackthursday #oldskool

Goooooood Mornin’ to ya!

It’s a grey cloudy one in London. I’m sitting here about to crack on with the final touches on my first, of two published books this July. You know me by now right? The music is going, coffee is being made, I’m in the zone. This song came on the radio as I was in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil, giving it so much attitude as I sang along, doing my best Beyonce impression.  (Not a very good one, but plenty of attitude though).

This song came out in 1999… Woah  I was sixteen years old ! How old were you in 1999? Do you remember singing along to this song?

 It set me in a good mood to work. I like Beyonce’s work ethic too. Eighteen years she has been a successful woman since this first song came out. Inspirational being the same age too.

Music will always be my saviour in life! And what I write to.

#throwbackthursday

 

My Day Three: NaNoWriMo Update #amwriting #writerslife #nanowrimo

 

Happy Monday!

I logged on this morning keen to read all the progress updates from my fellow NaNoWriMo buddies. You’re all looking good! I’ve found my new camp and writing mates. I’m in camp thirty six, anyone there? Do you like your camp? So far I’ve spoke to a writer over in the USA in Kentucky writing fan fiction. Here’s my nanowrimo progress.

Day One:

Well Saturday night I did make a start on my novella to write this month, but I never actually typed anything. I outlined the story. You guys remember I’m a plotter right? I can’t do this panster writer stuff very well. I’m kind of learning to fly by my knickers when writing, during with my weekly writing challenges, with my writing buddy Didi Oviatt slowly. Very slowly.

Day Two:

 On Sunday I did a bit of research. Book #3 of the Romance Set in Paradise series will have a little historical feel to it. Not a lot, but the characters are slightly more mature. Most of my characters are around my age mid thirties. This romance novella will feature a heroine in her fifties. I look forward to writing the POV of a more mature lady. Research is needed as I’m featuring the 1950s jazz scene. Woooo hooo! An era I love, and have referenced in previous stories I’ve wrote. However I’ve never actually taken it there in a full book and really made use of it. This story will move between the present and the past.  And the exotic paradise location is … Greece! Somewhere I have been and really liked. I won’t say too much in case I change my mind lost moment. I knocked out five hundred words last night.

Today I have a few hours to write, I plan to write like no one is looking, knock out some serious word count. I’ll be up to my eyebrows in words for a few hours.

 

Have a great day!

Self Published Authors Talk to Kim & Sascha Darlington: How To Work With Reviewers & Remove Stigma. #author #amwriting #writerslife

I did a blog post last night about my views and personal thoughts, after reading on a book reviewer’s site……

“they won’t read books by self-published authors.”

WTF 2

Yeah, I felt the same when I read that. I was traditionally published before self published, I have a strong view point on this statement by book reviewers.  You can read the blog post here, which also lead to a conversation with Sascha in the comments. Interestingly she asked what she could do to help support self-published authors? Even though from what I understand, she has had a bad experience with some. Well I dunno? I guess try to keep reading work from self published authors.

But if you’re a self published author what could help improve the image self published authors have? And how can book reviewers support indie authors? Rather than have a hostile board-line discriminatory attitude toward those that do self publish. Oh and guys please what is your view on “vanity publishing” is that what it’s called these days? I did laugh have you heard this?

I have just a few things/ideas on this poll, add your own in the comments and do give feedback. It would be great for Sascha and I to hear all of your POV’s, as I am only good at talking up for myself… as you can probably tell 🙂

Do Book #Bloggers Discriminate Against #Indie Authors? Can You Believe That? #author #annoyed #writerslife

WTF

 

Okay I’m about be real honest, state how I feel about what I’ve  just read, post this and that’s that.  If I offend anyone too bad! I’m sticking up for what’s right and authors all around the world. I’m too old to be walking on egg shells and not speak on what I feel passionately about. On top of that, I’m being real here.

Seriously, I’m just sitting here minding my own business catching up on blogs and stuff, with a glass of wine. I just clicked onto a book reviewer’s site and read “I don’t review books from self-published authors…blah blah blah.”  I’m what you’d call a hybrid author I guess, I’m both traditionally and self published.  I was traditionally published before self published. And let me tell you as a traditionally published author, publishers can still f*ck up your s*it, and you can be left rather unhappy with it. Don’t think for a moment because an author is self published they are any less of a writer, author, creator and kick- ass person, who can keep up the stamina to write a good book. Around work, families, drama and all kinds of things. Self published authors are made of some strong stuff, they are determine, they are titian and the world is a better and more diverse place with them. I’ve met some great ones.

WTF 3

 

Yes honey, I did say that! People out there think that being traditionally published is some kind of “gold standard.” Get with it, and move forward. I am so glad I found out all the benefits of self-publishing good well written stories. Yes I would be traditionally published again, but not because it is the be all and end all. Or I need that seal of approval. It’s nice sign a contract of course … I’ve done it three times and loved it but it’s not what makes me “an author” or another writer “an author.”  I’m so fed up with the stigma and stick that self- published authors get, for going their own way. Handling their own business and doing what they love. Self published authors have heart,have hustle and keep going!

 Stop/Do not discriminate! And don’t hate!

What

 *Resting bitch face in full swing*…. You heard me.