Rambles and Randoms #MFRWauthor #amwriting

2019 badge blog challenge 640x640 Amerigo BT

A few years ago I joined in on the fifty two week blogging challenge for romance authors, using the prompts from this great organisation. I’m jumping in for 2019 at week eleven, and go back and answer a few of  what missed…. in other words take a break from proof reading.

Question: Do you hold, share or hide an odd hidden talent?

I love astrology, I just can’t get enough of  how the study of the planet movement can impact on life. I studied it, got a diploma in astrology and yep every month I do look at the what the plants are doing.  Sometimes  I plan things I want to do based on what star sign the new or full Moon is in, or where my ruling planet for my star sign is in the universe.  Yep, I know my birth chart off the top of my head, and do compare it to the day that certain astrological major events are happening, like a planet moving signs or whatever event is taking place like an eclipse for example. Just to see how it may impact me, or what ‘house of life’ the planet transit is happening in. Is that weird? Probably.

Question: The difference between collecting and hording?

I found this such an interesting prompt, as I really had to think and question myself.  My paranoia set in big time!

Kim’s brain ticking, and eyes narrow: To collect, means you collect things that are valuable, rare or something useful.  Hording is when you’re afraid to let go of something you’ve collected, no matter how broken or unusable it is. Hmmm yeah,  when my shoes are old and battered…. I chuck them out, and buy a new pair to add to the ‘collection’. Same with all the beauty products.  Hmm yeah yeah.  If kept hold of the old shoes, finished glosses or lippies…. then I’d be hording right?… right.  *Nods head slowly while pouting* …. yeah, that sounds about right you’re collector girl, don’t panic.

Question: stress eating, whys and wherefores?

You know, I don’t and never have done this. I  get that some do, but when I am feeling stressed I turn the other way from food. I tend to not eat, if there’s very stressful things happening, not like everyday stresses or challenges but real life stress. I can’t answer this one from the why or wherefores.

 Question: Point of view choices and preferences?

Now, this is going to sound very strange from a romance author, but I proudly break every rule in the ‘romance writing’ cookbook of ‘how it should be done.’ In fact, I recommend to any new writer to stay away from those books, as they mass produce the same old. I stray whenever I feel like it, if the story calls me to.  I write first person, present tense and I don’t give a hoot who thinks what. And that is probably why I stand out, I’m not the only romance writer that does it I know, but those of us that do we’re the rebels and the bad asses to go against what’s considered the norm and ‘way to write romance’. And we are the ones probably turned away from agents and publishers  the most, because we are rebels.  But I’ll be honest… I chucked that cookbook right out, along with the cookbook that says every male lead is ‘tall, dark and handsome’ and every female lead is ‘ waiting to be saved’. * Smirks* nooo, no no, I like my women like I like my coffee strong! For the most part anyway, same with the men.

The romance genre is very full of third person past tense, which is nice and okay, and yes I can write like that if I feel like it or feel the story needs it, but that’s not what got me my first publishing deal, that’s not what made me an award winning author, and it’s not what landed an agent’s interest in my the novel I wrote to submit this year.  So I keep it real, and I keep it how I like it and where my true gift shines.

I’ll let you into a secret too those very same chapters I submitted to two agents, one came back and said to me ‘ I need to follow the rules’ and asked me if I’d consider doing a rewrite she did want my work, I kid you not, I actually laughed told her ‘no thanks.’ The other one she requested the full manuscript, in order to know where I stood with them I checked if the tense is okay , they said ‘yeah it works keep there.’ From this I feel be creative don’t feel bound to rules.

Personally I feel that POV’s should be written from the angle the story calls for it to be written from, if it’s an intense thrilling story there is nothing like bringing the reader up close.  My honest POV, on writing POV in the romance genre and generally is, be brave because there are readers of this genre (which includes me), who are sick and tired of the same old same old, same plots done over, same feel of the story the same predictability.

On the other hand I could feel like this and write how I write, as I write things like general thriller and crime, so I guess that’s where I get the rebel streak in me from. But, in a nutshell there are ‘rules’ and then there’s talent and creativity which will allow you to tell the story,  and find your own style and not have to follow ‘rules.’ Don’t be afraid to use it and stand out, there is nothing wrong with that.  This is by no means a knock to any writer who sticks to the rules either, it’s just an honest response to this prompt.

Question: reading, writing or living?

All three, damn I can’t do one without the other two. I can’t write without the urge to read, reading is what brought me to writing, not the other way around. I ran a book club for years ,and read two books or more a month before I even even wrote ‘Chapter One’ and wrote a story. But I always had a love of writing, I needed a push I got it and never stopped.  I need to live to read and write, and and live for reading and writing, so I need all three in my life!

Right! Okay, back to the proof reading before bed, I am going  over the stories from The Suspenseful Collection Volume Two. I can’t believe how going back over work I did with Didi from 2017, has made me smile so much, mainly as the challenge was and still will be to write the story over a weekend LOL. It’s such a great challenge every week, I need to thank you again if you voted in the writing prompts we used for the stories we have so far for this volume.

Right now, we’re writing the bonus stories ( that will only appear in the actual published book only), and extending the ones you all voted for to be extended  in the actual volume. This trip down memory lane is pretty cool. Thank you guys!

I hope once I speak with Didi again next week, we’ll have a plan on how we go about the challenge in 2019, and voting. I have never been more challenged by this kind of writing prompt challenge I LOVE IT. Thing is I  have no say on how the story ends ( unless I’m author two), but the challenge of being author two is I need to just roll with what Didi puts on my plate, and lap it up I can’t change it as  we don’t talk about the story it’s against the rules!

On the other hand being author one, is also just as challenging as you need to  break the ice and give the reader something interesting quick as it’s a short story, and the other writer something good enough to work with, and hope they don’t hate it! I could go on, but seriously it’s brought a much needed smile back  to my face, after personal withdrawal to deal with life it’s great to be back doing what I love.

Catch y’all soon.

 

Thirteen?- Service Resumed As Normal #amwriting

img_20190313_211101.jpgI’ve not logged into my author email account since the 13th September 2018, I’ve not blogged since the 13th September 2018. Today is the 13th March 2019, as I sat down originally and pulled up a new blog post to write, the time was 9.13 p.m. Many consider this an unlucky number, if you’re into numerology like me you won’t believe this. And, you’ll probably break down the number 13 to the number 4. 4 being the number of stability… which to means to me, today is a good day to write this and a very good sign from the universe that things are ‘stable’.

My original plan was to do a video and upload it and speak to everyone, but there’s been so many changes on WordPress, and for some reason my account ‘does not allow this access’. So what the fuck? May as well do what us writers do a write up y’all. I don’t know how many will read this but it’s important for me to write it, so it’s here. I want to let those who have contacted me, and had a lack of response know that now I am okay. Before I was not 100% and I had to withdraw and focus on my personal life.

The first thing I want to say is if you have sent me an email since the 13th September 2018, you’ll know I never got to respond. This is a heartfelt apology to all those 10,000 unread emails I logged onto today. If you are someone from what was  a Conscious Talk Magazine  member who emailed me, or has been emailing me asking what’s going on,  I will contacting you all directly speak to you ALL to explain, the ending of 2018, which resulted in my lack of response and absence. To everyone else I am so sorry!!

If you were waiting on a book review, interview, some kind of promotion and I never came through. I’m sorry forgive me I had a rough end to the year. But 2019 has started great. I feel that the end of last year, and most of the last two years for me personally, have been the ending of cycles, and karmatic things I had to experience  and deal with in order to be where I am now, which is a very good place.

I turned thirty-six in February and had a fantastic time, thank you if you did send birthday wishes thank you. Honestly, there are  good reasons for my absence.  I don’t really want to go into all that on a blog, I just want to let you all know I had to disappear for  six months for personal reasons, now I am the best I have ever felt. Living my greatest life! My family are well too.

That aside, I should start with the good news, and what I have been doing as a writer. The last time I wrote here  on the 13th  of September, I was in the throes of writing a  romance novel that has been requested by an agent. I was (and still am even more) over the moon. It’s complete,  yes! And I renamed that bitch after it took me so long to round it up. It’s changed from the very nice ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy’ title to ‘Sacrifices’ the story took on a meaning of its own, as I was writing. It’s now  on the way to that agent’s inbox.  I now await her response and I hope she likes it. While it’s shorter than my first full length novel , it’s taken me like since 2017 to push out just 72,000 words. I say just, as that’s nothing compared to the 90,000 odd I wrote before.

Now, I’m focused on a manuscript I’ve not finished, before I even published my first book. My very first idea,  it’s a crime thriller with a hint of romance! I keep talking about that, and need to get around to focusing on it. So yes, 2019 I have big plans in terms of writing personally, and finishing off The Suspenseful Collection part two, with my co-author bestie Didi Oviatt. That girl’s been so patient with me after I ghosted her in September. Tomorrow we’ll  meet on Skype and I am totally prepared for her to curse me out. I laugh as I type this as I know Didi very well, personally and what she’s like ( and she  knows me very well). I can imagine what tomorrow will be like. Thing is not only is our writing similar we have a lot in common as people, and get on really well. So I know it will be like ” what the fuck Kim? You bitch you ghosted me, I had the stories ready and blah blah blah” then, we’ll be back to laughing and joking, like nothing ever happened. After six months, I am rather excited to speak with her.

I’ve also been ghost writing too! Which is a great way to earn money as a writer,  if you are good, have talent and if you don’t mind signing non-discloser acts, and not being credited for your work…but paid instead, very well  indeed for all your work! I’ve written some very interesting topics and short books, to put food on the table and live. I have been offered another topic I’m considering, while I juggle my own work to publish.

Life has changed,  it feels like I’ve shed a skin, been to hell and back, come out smelling like roses and feeling good. I still have a day job that involves writing so I guess now, I am now a full-time writer.  I never actually thought I’d get the pleasure to say that, but I am! Writing my own work but also a variety of things that I never thought I’d turn my hand to.  I feel like I’ve got my dream job! So here goes  for 2019.

In terms of being present here, my vision for my blog is still to write short stories, do writing prompts which you all know I looooooooooooove, promote other authors, book reviews all the stuff I did before. And of course interact with as many of you as I can, and READ as many other blogs as I can. I no longer get emails sent to me for blogs I follow, why is that? Is this some major change on WordPress?

This is just a quick post to say ‘sorry’ to those who need to hear this, and update those who have just been like ‘ where’s Kim?’ I better try and make my way through this mountain of unread mail!

Thank you for reading, thanks to those who have sent me ‘hey what’s up’ emails. And if you have sent me an email cursing me out, which I’ve not got to yet, hey it’s cool I have no hard feelings.  I am yet to pull up all the mail and see what I’ve missed. But you have to understand I had no choice but to pull back and remove myself totally from everything.

I’ll catch y’all soon!

Ps. guess what the time is as I end this blog post 10.13pm…this is spooky!!

 

 

 

 

Random Thoughts: What Astrology Taught Me About Writing… The Time Is Now

Love of writing

Before I started to write this post I had to step out into my garden and take a deep breath.  It’s late 11pm but I’m in a random reflective mood, I’ve not blogged in months so here goes some random thoughts…I can’t believe the journey I have been on this last year, personally and as a writer.  For a year in August I’ve been editing a magazine and writing non-fiction. During this time I’ve had the pleasure of going back to Astrology, as I have written to horoscopes for Concision Talk Magazine. I fell into Astrology, Tarot and all that good stuff when I was about sixteen, that’s another blog post. Anyway, as you read this now in June 2018 Mars the planet of action, determination, goals, motivation war and conflict has gone retrograde. This basically means moving backwards from an Earth’s perspective, during this time it’s when we are forced to revisit old ground, anger can come out for some depending on circumstances, it’s not a time to start new ventures things come to completion normally.  Also, it’s a time of focusing directed energy as Mars’ forceful motivation, determination and ass-kicking energy is in full force!

The interesting thing about a planet’s retrograde is that is happens in a ‘house of life’ for us all, depending on your birth chart where exactly. For me when I pulled up my chart on the 26th June the day the planet went into retrograde until the end of August, the retrograde is happening in my 5th house, the house that’s linked to creativity, romance, children, life’s pleasures and enjoyment.  This told me, this is the house I need to go back to creativity, what I love and look at old projects.

What is even more interesting about a Mars retrograde is that it happens every twenty-six months roughly, if you look back at the dates and times for yourself personally, you’ll have an idea of lessons you need to learn in your own life, or themes in your life etc. For me the retrograde from 2010 were largely based around my marriage, the home and family and creativity. You’re not going to believe this, I looked at my Astrological birth charts during the retrograde periods as far back as 2010, in 2016’s retrograde I realised I wrote my first novel, got my first publishing deal and that novel turned out to be an award winning novel, the retrograde took place in my 4th house of life which is connected to the family, home, recent past and your foundations.  ( Back then I was not following Astrology as I once did all my life, and had no idea this transit was happening in these areas). However, I was going through some shit! Massive changes which lead to me being free to write and so I did…  just before the current retrograde Mars almost two years later I started to write another romantic suspense, sent over three chapters to an agent who requested the full book from me, this was in late 2017 early 2018. I moved country  just as she come back to me, and had the magazine going so writing fiction slowed. If I’m honest, I never really could get into writing the fiction again I was loving the non-fiction of the magazine. Now, under this Mars retrograde in my 5th house of creativity, romance and life’s pleasures  clearly I’m being pointed to go back and prompted not miss the chance with the agent who is interested in my work…  write that damn book. I also, really miss my ‘home’ of fiction writing, you can take the editor out of the writer but you can’t take the writer out of an editor is how I feel. I found it so enlightening and awaking this week to study Astrology and notice  that during the last Mars retrograde, I wrote my first full 90k word novel during the exact three months it took place! Every day I wrote, like a crazy woman forget editing… and it showed LOL. I just wrote and later down the line polished the book.

Astrology teaches you so much in life! ‘As above so below’…. my break from fiction writing is clearly over as of this month. I’ve set the challenge, Mars’ retrograde will unleash the fiction writer in me again, and yes you better believe that agent is going to snap up my book like it’s the best thing she’s read this year!  I am I’m going back to that manuscript I feel a stronger writer… even if I was badass before *wink.

People check your birth charts see what this Mars retrograde can mean for you, if you believe in all that ‘mombo jumbo’ it really can move you to where you are meant to be! If you have no clue how to do it, I’ll do it!  It will take me like two seconds to pull up a chart using your birthday, location of birth and time of birth just email me! Don’t miss out on any opportunity or where you are meant to be when these cosmic changes transit, remember as above so below! The time is now!

 

Romance Writer’s Challenge Week #47: My Writing Space…. Is My New Inspiration. #amwriting #MFRW #writerslife

badge blog challenge updated.pngI have missed so many weeks! I swear when I signed up to this challenge I said I’d do every week, I got to about week twenty odd and stopped. It’s now week 50-51 *sigh.* I hope there is another fifty two week challenge for blog topics in 2018.

I feel inspired to write week #47, as I am at present sat in my living room at my new desk and here it is….

WP_20171213_001.jpg

Nothing fancy, but it does the job I have my letter writing supplies to hand and Sudoko … I love those puzzles. Enough space for my laptop and good lighting. In my old home I had a round glass table in the kitchen, that doubled up as my desk. My new environment means I have enough space to have a desk just to write and a kitchen table LOL! The only thing missing from this picture is a vase with fresh flowers. The day I took this photo I literally dumped everything on my desk, today it’s tidier and I do have some fresh roses pink and orange. To the right of my desk is a large book case with six shelves full of  all my favourite books with authors I love, a music system and a fire place.  To the left a large window and the rest of the living room.

I set my desk up in a corner of a the living room as it’s so large, rather than one of the other bedrooms. This way at least  I can write,  surf the net, Skype while I keep an eye on my boy. I am also within earshot of his bedroom. Toddlers crash around all the time making noise I’ve learned not to jump at every sound he makes… unless I smell smoke or hear glass crashing I’ll be at my desk…. writing. 🙂

What does your writing space look like? I’d love to see and hear about it.

 

 

 

Daily Writing Prompt: Calling… My Calling Was Bitter Sweet, But Well Worth it!

Calling

 

Lemons.png

I’ve not responded to a WordPress daily writing prompt for what feels like months. I know, I know I always say ‘ so much has been going on.’ Truth be told it has… Where to even start?  Firstly, I should stick to the writing prompt word ‘calling’, then update you as to why I have not blogged a personal blog for months.

When I saw today’s word it made me think of my own calling, why I write, how I write, what it really does for me? As that’s why I write generally for me. I also thought about when my true calling to write came, and how it came.  The only person that knows this is my co-author Didi Oviatt  so here goes, the whole world and it’s mum is about to know. My true calling came at a rather bitter sweet moment in my life. To the outsider it may appear as a sad time, truth be told I was probably the happiest I had been for a number of years.

My calling to write, honestly, not just here and there  secretly but seriously meaning write novels and novellas regularly, came the year I decided to take off my wedding ring, divorce my husband, embrace the decision I had made to start over, leave him, raise my son (who was eighteen months old at the time) on my own. Yep! I finally ditched him I just had enough!! I laugh as I type now, because I never once shed a tear over it, I felt better leaving than staying it was a sense of relief to shed my ring. I threw myself into caring for my boy who I am sooooooooooo proud of and happy to have (who is now four), creating our security and new direction. Then out popped a 90,000 novel, a publishing deal, a re-vamp and self-publish of that novel, then an award for it. Shit! I feel even better about ditching that ring now. You see, once I did not only was I and my son happier, I was allowed to write I just could with no criticism, put downs, or bullshit. Leaving allowed me to become a better person a stronger person also an author.

I just never thought to take it seriously until I broke free, and took my nose out of another author’s novel that I was reading.  I was (and still am) a big bookworm before I started writing. I also never thought about submitting my work to publishers  before. I did it on a whim and stuck lucky  I guess, but my mum would say ‘ no Kim you’re talented not lucky.’ Thanks Mum.

My calling was bitter sweet, writing did not and still does not ‘take away pain’ ‘take my mind off what happened’  put it this way I did not need any of that at the time,  I still don’t and probably won’t ever. I just felt great being able to create. Not just stories, or articles but spend time at my sewing machine too, if I were not a writer I’d probably be a fashion designer or make-up artist I’ve said it so many times!

Fast forward two years down the line to 2017, divorce final, six books under my belt  my calling in full swing what did I do….. I  immigrated!!!  🙂 The reason why I have not had a real chance to do much writing wise or interact with you as I used to, is because I have been busy moving country I now live in France! I love London and I will always be proud to be British and from the UK’s capital  that’s where I spent the first almost thirty-five years of my life. But for a better quality of life for my son and I, security, and a brand new start this is what’s best for us both right where we are now in a new part of Europe. London will always have a place in my heart.

So that’s it, that’s how my calling to write came about,  I decided fuck this shit I’ll be happier and better off as a single mama, and so would my son we  can do this. And  that’s why I have been absent I have relocated to a place with 300 days of sun a year, better quality of life and for a new adventure and I hope one day to find my true husband…. after all I am a romance writer!

But guess what? I’m back y’all, ya  better believe it to! I’m back with a force so I will be a lot more active writing and especially blogging. Now I have the time. I’ve made the leap and dedicating much more time to writing because I can… after all it is my true calling as a vocation in life, I’ve proven this to myself.

 

Hello… Remember me? #writerslife

 

Love of writing.jpgEvening guys!

You probably thought I dropped off the face of the earth… I kinda did! For a hot minute. My blog posts have all been promotional for other authors, you probably noticed the lack of personal ones, or writing prompts while I’ve been tapping away at my keyboard. It’s been a while  since I said hey,so here I am with an update and to see how you all are?

Well… what’s goin’ on, Didi and I have taken a short pause from the weekly stories as we’re working on volume #2 🙂 . And we have volume #3 mapped out. You’re going to love it! I won’t spill the beans too much ( she’ll probably curse me out on Skype if I do LOL) so all I’ll say is, the next two volumes will be as suspenseful, if not more, and we have a great idea for volume #3 … longer stories…and…wait wait I better stop there, that’s all I’m saying for now.

Aside from this, I also revisited a manuscript I started to write a few years back, it was my first ever idea for a novel before I wrote A Stranger in France... And then won an award ! I’m glad I wrote it,but this story has been knocking around for so long. I ‘ve redrafted it way too many times before I settled on the plot. You know me, the plot is very important to me, it’s 100% a thriller with a touch of romance, rather than a romance with a thriller element. This means…a wicked who-dun-it is in progress and I’m so excited to write this novel with this spin on it years later!

Also I’ve got my beloved Romance Set in Paradise Series that I’m actually writing for.Book #3 is set in Greece in the Mediterranean this time,and a wonderful throwback to an era I love as well as in the present day. The writing style of this one is a little different from Havana Heat and Lover’s Retreat. I hope you’ll like it.

With my editor’s job at Conscious Talk Magazine I’m learning and loving every moment of this role. My team are outstanding, from work ethic to talent. The magazine is really an interesting read. Sadly, we’ve had a “gremlin” this week  it’s under maintenance online while the technical support look into the problem. We hope to be back online by the end of the week the latest, with some thought provoking articles for issue #3.

NaNaWrimo is approaching and you bet I’ll be involved. My last attempt at writing a novel in the month of NaNWrimo sucked! Only as the timing was right by two book releases over the summer… I can’t be mad with myself for not completing book #3 of the romance, this autumn I will put my best foot forward and knuckle down to do some serious writing.

So that’s it, that’s why I have been absent, finalising one anthology to do another co-author gig with Didi, plotting away with my thriller, editing at CTM and writing too. Some how I’ve also been a mama in between all that. 🙂

How have you all been? Great to connect with you all again.

The Editor’s Life: Oh Boy! What Fun. #amwriting

Editor of Magazine

A new online, diverse magazine launching in August 2017. We aim to be in print too! http://www.conscioustalkmag.com

It’s been a week of the usual crazy days being mama and family life, writer and doing short stories, book reviewer and reading, and now editor! But a very productive week. Over at CTM we’re now a team of eleven strong writing warriors, preparing for launch day! All the columns I want to feature in the magazine are covered, apart from LGBT. Which is sad, but I am on a mission to allocate the column to a talented writer, I’m still recruiting. My other areas are covered, but I’d like a good few writers working on each section. Especially the Men’s Corner and Sport section, so I’m still considering submissions for areas.

We’re on social media now too you can catch us on Facebook, if you want to give us a like @conscioustalkmag and Twitter if you want to Tweet and follow us @conscious_talk. 

My days and evenings have been spent reading all the submissions from writers, I’m actually really touched and surprised at the response rate to the recruitment campaign! Some submissions have been poor of course and to be expected, some have been excellent and some have been mind blowing! So mind blowing it has led me to open up a new column, Conscious Poems. The team are international UK, Brazil, and even as far as Africa and the Middle East. This I’m so pleased about. The team are also super talented.

What have I learned?

Time management is key, even more as an editor than writer I think.

It’s not just about how good someone writes, it’s about the overall attitude of the person when it comes to building a team.

How to write a  snappy team brief with direction, so everyone knows what they are doing.

Sometimes, a writer may not be perfect. However, there might be a lot of passion in their work and you can see the potential.  Don’t be the editor to shun them with that f*ck off rejection letter, help them to develop maybe even give them a chance.

How to give balanced constructive feedback to someone you don’t know well,  and don’t  have a full idea of what they are capable of. (As you’ve never read their work before).

 

I better get back to my inbox! Have a wonderful Thursday!