Random Reflection: Dead But Not Forgotten…. #kdsuspense #music #inspiration #amwriting @amywinehouse

This week I’m thrilled to be using a line from one of my favourite artist’s songs, as inspiration to write. Thank you personally from me if you voted in the prompt “we only said goodbye with words I died a hundred times” from Back to Black. I’ve written stories using lyrics before as a prompt, but never by someone as dear to me as this artist.

It’s so hot in London tonight I couldn’t focus on writing a chapter for my next release. So true to form I started messing around looking at make-up videos, thought about painting my nails and then I re-watched the performance of Back to Black I posted today when I announced the winning writing prompt, the actual concert I went to. Probably one of the best Amy did as shortly after she started to decline with drinking and drugs. It brought the whole night back to me with a smile … my girlfriends and I crammed in my car, driving along to the venue excited to see her show, buying our cheap drinks, dancing in the crowd to her songs as a group and singing along very badly!

I remember the day I heard Rehab the first song she released from Back to Black. I already knew Amy’s work as I have Frank the first album she wrote. When I heard Rehab I kid you not I stopped, looked at the TV showing the music video, and turned it up loud. I went out to do whatever I had to do that day, and bought a copy of the album.  Played it and got on the phone to one of my girlfriends who is as much as a fan as I am. I played it almost every day her lyrical content is witty, and I get her British humour and banter, amongst the heartache.

All the awards she won I think are an amazing achievement at such a young age, she’s just a few months younger than me, well she would be if she was still with us. When she was alive in her early thirties doing so well, I felt really happy to have her represent the UK with her talent. And don’t let me get started on her style too, when she was healthy she looked great. I like how she personalised her style representing an era that sometimes I think I should have been born in rather than the eighties, as I love the music of the fifties and sixties and fashion myself. My mum shows me pictures of her back in this time, I think she actually looks really cool LOL To see  Mum with her beehive hair, thick eyeliner and false lashes, red lips and nails. To see the look Amy recreated as it originally was done, on  Mum always makes me smile. And get this Mum still has her platforms and stiletto heels… of course I’ve worn them. Back then women looked like women, and it was all about being  feminine heels and nice dresses or flares and a cute blouse I really like it. Amy resonates with me so much as she represented an era of music I grew up on soul and Motown one on my favourite genres, but she made it modern.

The day I heard on the BBC News she passed away in her sleep in her flat in Camden Town, I honestly did not know how to take it. I went along the week she passed to Camden Town, I  placed flowers down with other members of the public. It’s just the other side of London from me. And then I wondered how someone who experienced so much heartache in a relationship with a man, who then went on to write an award winning album about all that he put her through can be taken away and never have the chance to really shine. She was just warming up with Back to Black! A bit like other iconic artists that died really young Curt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix etc. It’s so painful when you think of how talented they were. If only they could  have freed themselves from their demons and let go of the drug/ drink abuse.

Anyway, Amy is not the only star to crack under pressure, be it the relationship or media pressure. I did a post about strong female artists that seem to have lost their way last year. Amy of course made a feature. You can read it here.

So tonight as a prepared myself for next week’s writing challenge mentally, to drum up a good story with Didi, and reminisced on Amy’s work on YouTube I just felt like writing a small blog on my thoughts around her and her death, music and talent. I found these two clips of her . One is the moment she actually recorded Back to Black… like the actual moment! You see her with Mark Ronson the producer in the recording booth just singing like it’s breathing.  And an interview with her when she looked fit, health and glowing. Her broad London accent and honesty in her interview, about her as a person made me smile.This is how I want to remember her. Not the terrible performances due to drugs or the weight loss,  messed up make-up and hair as she is was in such a daze.  I look forward to writing this next story  for Kim and Didi’s Suspenseful Collection using her lyrics to inspire us.

Amy is gone, but I’ll never forget her.

 

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The Moment She Recorded Back to Black

 

Interview! 

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.

Reading Habits… Mmmm #reading #books

I love books

I made a visit to a lovely book blogger’s page this evening. I read her random post on her reading habits. Inspired me to keep the post chain going. I love to read, I was (and still am) an avid reader before writer. Here are my habits what are yours?

Do you have a certain place in your home for reading?

Not really, I read anywhere. Including public places. Normally when I’m at home I read  in bed or in the living room on the sofa. Curled up with a cup of tea or coffee, sometimes something a stronger. Okay, not sometimes most of the time.

— Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Bookmark all the way! I have collected some pretty ones over the years. It annoys me if they slip out or I lose them.

— Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop reading after a chapter / certain number of pages?

Most of the time I aim to finish the chapter. I find it hard to cut off and disconnect. If I’m really tired I may stop part way through, but I always aim for the long haul and finish a chapter.

— Do you eat or drink while read?

All the time! The crumbs on the E-reader is unbelievable.

— Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Ahh, hard one I always have something on in the background, the hard decision is music or TV. If I have the TV on it’s always the news channel I place it on, I have no idea why. If it’s music, something easy going is playing.

— One book at a time or several at once?

Just the one thank you! I give it my full attention.

— Reading at home or everywhere?

*Raises an eyebrow* what do you think?

— Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Silently in my head… what am I? Five years old?

— Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

No. Never. It’s a sin.

— Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

Keeping it new…

— Do you write in your books?

Who? What? … Hell No! Why would you? When I was at university I didn’t even like making notes in my text books.  But reading books? My escapism?..  You’ve lost ya damn mind.

What are your reading habits?

Romance Writers’ Blog Challenge Wk #23: “If I Could Eat One Last Meal” #MFRW

I’m fashionably late and behind again, with the romance writers’ #52 week blogging challenge *sighs*.  But I’ll jump back in on week #23. I adore food, this is probably one area of  life that I’m so versatile, and will try almost anything. My parents originate from the Caribbean, growing up I ate mainly this type of food. I guess even though my mum immigrated here to London years ago, she has never left her roots. Even English dishes she cooks are sprinkled with some kind of Carib twist.

The other day I made this dish,  I was so proud of it (I do love to cook also) I took a snap. It’s Caribbean chicken using my mum’s secret recipe. If I could eat one last meal I think it would be this. Well marinated, slow cooked, chicken, rice and beans with a coconut flavour and of course can’t forget the salad.

When my mum cooks this dish it tastes ten times better than mine, I can never quite get it the same, but mine is still yummy. She also likes to add Plantains to the dish. These are like bananas but not quite, and they are so sweet! You can fry them, boil them and even make crisps or potato chips if you’re from the USA from them. You’ll find them in many hot countries. Sometimes she’ll throw in a lil’ potato salad too.

The Caribbean is such a wonderful part of the world when it comes to food. Food is like a way to celebrate, and to bring people together. Flavour and spice is a big part of the culture. Never boring and never bland. Caribbean food is cooked with love, care and passion. I’ve heard this said about Italian culture and food also.

What’s your favourite dish to eat? Are you adventurous when it comes to food? Are you a great cook? If I came over to your house for dinner, what would you cook for me?

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Question For All Writers: What’s Your Creative Time? What’s Your Routine? #writerslife #amwriting

Three Day Quote Challenge 3

I’m fed, watered and ready to spend the whole evening tapping away until the early hours tonight. It’s almost 10.00p.m London time, a random thought popped into my head as the creative bug bit me this evening. I’ve not pulled up my second romance novella I’m working on in five whole days!  *cringe*.  My editor kicked  me up the ass today, she’s excited to read it. Tonight I’ve got a serious case of creativity, not to mention withdrawal symptoms.

It made me wonder, when do other writers get bitten by the creative bug? What’s your most creative hour of the day?  I wonder what other writers do as part of  their “routine” for writing? Do they write every day? Every other day? Once a week … what? So I’m asking you all, tell me I’m really interested. Leave me a comment let’s talk.

Personally, being a mum I write in the evening always. This is not a bad thing far from it, it suits me as this is when I naturally find I’m in the mood, and I have more creativity then. My creative hours are between  9:00p.m-3:00a.m. Or maybe I think I have more creativity as the house is damn quiet! Peace at last!

Five whole days away from a manuscript is a long time for me. I do tend to try to write everyday. I’ll be real honest, the last couple of weeks I’ve not. Mainly as I’ve been tired (nothing new there then), I’ve been reading a lot (like always). The last few books I’ve read have really gripped me. They were hard to put down, I’ve passed up writing to read. I started reading the first novel of one of this month’s Meet The Author featured authors, you’ll find out who on the 25th.  I also want to read the other featured author’s work too.

Anyway, here’s my routine what’s yours like?

  1. Try to write every day. Is this what you do?
  2. Eat dinner, make a coffee, wash my face and turn on the radio. I normally listen to some easy going radio stations, that play all genres of music. We have some great ones in the UK. Or if I’m completely behind and need to knock out some serious word count… I pull out the classical piano playlist, to get in the zone classical music really focuses me.
  3. Sit at the laptop, pull up the manuscript. Glance over it, sip coffee. Check my phone, check Facebook, check e-mail.
  4. Pull up YouTube or some distraction on the internet, mess around for about a good half an hour … or longer *pulls a face*.
  5. Set to work.

Tell me what is your routine? I’m keen to know. And do you get straight to work or do you mess around before you actually type??… don’t lie to me now, be honest.

I better get to work as right now, typing this post, I’m on step four of the above… distraction 🙂

Share your experiences!

 

Reflection: What I write. #writerslife #amwriting

As much as I love to write fast paced, engaging and gripping stories. With strong characters and even some very dark  unsavoury ones. When it comes down to it, I’ll always be a romance writer at heart. My stories will always comeback to this no matter how gritty , controversial or full of drama they may get.

Yes I’ve knocked out some gritty characters in crime, and physiological themed stories as part of the weekly challenges  for Kim and Didi’s Suspenseful Collection.   And I’ve started to write a novel with this theme too! But this week as writers we have both put out  such a different feel. So different the story moved me to actual tears I just read it back to myself. I can’t recall I time I’ve actually been moved to tears, by something I partly wrote 🙂

Maybe it was the music, I dunno? Unintentionally at the moment I have Magic FM on the radio. If you’re not from the UK, you might not  know that this station plays some of the most relaxing feel good songs. I love to write with it in the background to focus. Around this time in the evening 9:00 p.m it gets a little soppy! It’s called ” Mellow Magic.” This song came on, I actually shed a tear (or a few) while reading the story. Good ol’ Whitney! It fits the story so well.

As I said earlier on today it’s a real close call between week four, and week one as my favourite story so far. I loved creating both pieces of fiction. As a romance author, I sincerely hope you enjoy what Didi and I came up with. And I thank her openly for the decision (not mine) to do a romance theme week. Because love really does concur all.

The Big Reveal: WHO IS AUTHOR A & WHO IS AUTHOR B FOR WK 1-3’S STORIES?? …. #kdsuspense #amwriting

Evening guys,

Both Didi and I have had some positive feedback from readers, about our stories. We are also both LOVING working together on them each week, it’s a shock to us to see where our story will end up, if you’re author A, as well as a shock to see what will land in your inbox to finish writing if you’re author B. Personally, I like both roles A and B I have no preference. What’s the hardest thing about working with Didi? …. Stopping writing! No matter if I’m A or B . We have both knocked out 90,000 odd word novels ,and it’s hard to put a lid on it once we’re in the groove! We Skyped about this, then guess what  we went over the word limit each again lols.. ah well. Sooooooooooooo I guess by now some of you want to know who is author A and who is author B, for the first three stories we have done. Okay your wish is our command, did you guess right…. take a look.

 

Week 1: It Was The First Time I Killed A Man. click here to read a steamy 18+ historical bit of crime fiction about a woman on death row.

 

Author A: kimknightprofilepic

 

Author B: Didi (1)

Yep I whipped up that crazy ass woman Lisa Vanicilli and handed her to my partner in crime to see what she’d do. Didi did not fail me! She aced the ending so well.  And you know what I loved writing Lisa. She’s nuts! This is my favourite story  so far. That said, this week’s one  for Tuesday maybe a close call. I heard through the grape vine a few of of you thought it may have been Didi  as author A. Humm maybe, as the main character is a blonde female from the USA….  “They say we write what we know “ well I’m from London,  my accent is nothing like the New York, Brooklyn accent that I love so much that we both tried to portray while writing. And I  could not be more far removed from the main female myself as a woman, but  we did tell you we’re skilled at adapting our writing styles. We’ll write anyone, any age, race, gender, sexuality we’ll try to step into anyone’s  shoes.

My First Reaction When I Read Didi’s Ending For This Story:

“Holy sh*it Didi is even more nuts than me in her character development, Lisa is crazy lols. Then I read real close again about two or three times and was like , hey you can’t even tell there was a change of writer. This is freaky it’s like one of us knocked out that story on our own.

Week Two: Every Time I Hear That Voice From The Basement: Click here to read. A psychological suspenseful story.

 

Author ADidi (1)

 

Author B: kimknightprofilepic

 

My First Reaction When This Story Landed In My Inbox:

When Didi sent me over the story,  in her email she was like: ” I gatta real dochebag for ya Kim. Can’t wait to see what you do with him.” I read the email and  laughed, but never expected what I read. I loved it.

When I finished reading I was like..What a freak he is! Didi can step into the shoes of anyone, she likes to write ’em crazy all right. I had so much fun with this story as I zoned in the the “disturbed” personality our main man has. The bleach part with his wife Jolene was a creative fluke. It just came to me while I was writing, focusing on his OCD ways. In fact this story was a real “fly by the seat of my pants story”. And as many of you know,  I’m  not “a panster” as a writer I like to plot my outline, then fill in with creativity as I write, I always have a direction. With this one I just sat behind the laptop and tried to craft a character that was true to what Didi whipped up, I had no direction. I think, this story was the most fun to write for me as I stepped into the shoes of a very ill man.  I dropped in the part about London and his obsession for Dana,  rather than turn him into a serial killer or let there be a murder, just to be a little different, and more creepy/ scary. I see this guy as a more passive dangerous character ,rather than an outright murderous character like Lisa Vanacili.  George is sly, very sly not so bold. He’s a plotter very calculating he won’t lash out like Lisa. Maybe Didi feels otherwise when she crafted him, we’ll see in her reveal post.

Week Three: The  Entrance To The Tunnel Is His Only Way Out. Click Here to Read It. A short sharp bit of crime fiction.

 

Author Akimknightprofilepic

 

Author B: Didi (1)

My First Reaction When I read Didi’s Ending For This Story:

Wow! I never saw that coming at all. Now that’s a surprise twist. I was very shocked at how Didi set me up to think that Juan would make it out okay, he just needed a little sleep. I think personally, she kept his character very true to what I created, Juan did not change. I also would NEVER have thought to go in that direction creatively at all, never ever.  I don’t know what was going through her head when she wrote the ending, but what ever it was did me proud.

 

So there you go. You know who author A and author B is for weeks one- three. Stay tuned for week four’s story which will be posted on Tuesday! Polls will go up to vote for week five’s writing prompt Wednesday. And now we have announced week four’s winning prompt…. why not write a story to the prompt with us? Leave your link on our pages and use #kdsuspense!

And remember …. WE NEVER DISCUSS WHO SHOULD WRITE WHAT, OR HOW THE STORIES SHOULD START OR END. ONCE WE HAVE AUTHOR A AND B AGREED… AUTHOR A WRITES, HANDS HER STORY TO AUTHOR B, SHE WRITES, WE PUT THEM TOGETHER, GIGGLE  HARD …AND PRESS PUBLISH!

Have a wonderful start to your week tomorrow.

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