My Top 5 Reads So Far For 2018

My Top 5 Reads So Far For 2018

Welcome to The Writers’ Dozen Top 5 Reads Blog Hop. I’ve been a member of this fabulous writing group for 14 years. We’re an eclectic bunch of writers penning novels across a diverse range of genres including crime, women’s fiction, rural romance, romantic comedy, chic lit, historical fiction, literary fiction and short stories. This year we’ve decided to join forces and do some blog hops so readers can see what we’re all about, starting with our Top 5 Reads (so far) for 2018. You can see my selections in this post and then click on the links to see what my writing buddies have been reading. We’d love to hear about what books you’ve been enjoying so don’t forget to leave your comments and recommendations.   Happy Reading!    We’re not far into the year but I’ve managed to squeeze in some reading in between revisions for my new book, Cross My Heart. So here in no particular order are my latest faves.   The Emotional Craft Of Fiction by Donald Maass     Starting with a writing book because that’s where my head’s at right now. I’m a huge fan of Donald Maass and always refer to his how-to books when I’m in the revision stage. A literary agent turned writing guru he has great advice for commercial fiction authors who want to write page-turners. And don’t we all? This latest one is all about creating an emotional connection for your reader which will, in turn, get them hooked. Perfect for me right now as this is the goal for my current manuscript. Maass provides detailed theory, examples...
Revise To Publish Masterclass Applications Now Open (April 20-22 2018)

Revise To Publish Masterclass Applications Now Open (April 20-22 2018)

I’m super excited to announce the date and venue for my 2018 Writing Retreat. Applications are now being taken for the Revise To Publish At Russley Masterclass being held at the beautiful Russley Rural Retreat in Segenhoe, NSW, from Friday April 20 to Sunday April 22nd.   Treat yourself to a very special weekend at Russell Rural Retreat near scone, NSW. Spend the weekend with fellow writers learning how to polish and revise your manuscript to make it publication worthy. In this intensive workshopping weekend Pamela will share what she’s learned about getting your novel up to scratch, attracting the attention of agents and publishers and submitting a manuscript you can be truly proud of.         Places are strictly limited (maximum of 9) and open only to those who have completed a full first draft of their manuscript. The emphasis during the workshop will be on revising your work to give it the best chance of being snapped up by a publisher. The Masterclass will be a condensed, updated version of the Tell Me A Story retreat Pamela ran in Fiji in 2017.   Here’s everything you need to know: What:     Masterclass When: Friday April 20 (4pm Meet and Greet) to Sunday April 22 (4pm finish) Where: Russley Rural Retreat (242 Segenhoe Road, Segenhoe, New South Wales) Who: This Masterclass is for authors who have completed at least one  draft of their novel and are aiming for publication.   Your Tutor Pamela is a multi published author of commercial fiction, has a Masters in Creative Writing and over twenty years of teaching experience. Her teaching positions...
5 Things You May Not Know About Book Publishing

5 Things You May Not Know About Book Publishing

For most people the only thing they need to know about the book publishing industry is when their favourite author is releasing their next book. Sometimes they have other questions. Since the release of my first book I’ve been asked by both readers and other writers about how the publishing industry works and what happens once your book is out there in the big, wide world. I’ve narrowed this down to 5 things you may not know so here they are in random order. 1. Writing Is Only Part The Job It’s now 8 months since The Crossroads was released. Hard to believe all that time has passed! Although it still feels like last month to me, 8 months is quite a long time in the publishing industry. In any given year around 20,000 book titles are published in Australia so in industry terms many, many books have filled the shelves since my most recent publication. So for an author, the period of time they spend under their publisher’s spotlight is necessarily brief. That’s why most authors today, certainly writers of commercial fiction, spend time on their Facebooks, Twitter and Instagram accounts and other social media platforms. Traditional publishers expect their authors to actively market their books and for Indie (self published) authors the time spent on marketing is even greater. It’s how we try to find new readers, remind our loyal readers we’re still around and stay connected to our audience.   2. Authors Only Get One Piece Of The Pie Whether you’re traditionally or self published, you are paid a percentage of the profits from your book...
10 Things I Learned About Writing From Novel Number Three: #3 It Doesn’t Get Easier

10 Things I Learned About Writing From Novel Number Three: #3 It Doesn’t Get Easier

You’d think by the time you wrote your third novel the whole process would get easier. I’m here to tell you it doesn’t. Or at least it didn’t for me. Each time you write you’re plagued by the same insecurities: What if this isn’t good enough? What if my publisher doesn’t like it? What if the readers don’t like it … blah blah blah. I still had the same self doubt I had with my first novel – in some ways it was even worse. Once you’ve successfully published the pressure is on. The pressure for this book to be as good as the last one (or even better), the pressure to make sure you earn back that advance, the pressure to sell as well as others in your genre. In some ways this is a good thing. It pushes you to write better, to raise the bar for yourself, not to slacken off. The trick is not to let it cripple or block you. I find it harder now to just write and not question the quality of each sentence and paragraph. At times I do let the nerves stop me from writing. I have to force myself to sit there and let the words flow reminding myself that I can revise and improve later.   “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E. L. Doctorow I’ve read stories about multi-published authors who say the same thing – every novel is as hard as the last...
10 Things I Learned About Writing From My Third Novel: #2 Talking It Out Helps

10 Things I Learned About Writing From My Third Novel: #2 Talking It Out Helps

The thing about writing is that it’s a very solitary process. You sit down and pour the ideas from your head onto the page without anyone filtering them or commenting, at least in the first draft stage. And that’s how it should be. You need that alone time to create your characters, build your story and bring your vision to life. But one thing I learned this time around is that talking it out can actually help. Many of us are very secretive about our ideas and our writing. Sometimes that’s because we need the time to work things out for ourselves but often it’s because we fear judgement. What if I tell someone my idea and they think it sucks? What if they walk away and laugh at me behind my back? What if I realise how lame my story is when I actually try to explain it to someone? And yes, all those fears are absolutely valid. That’s why, if you do decide to speak up and talk your ideas through, it should be with someone you trust. A writing buddy is the perfect choice. I brainstormed ideas for Close To Home with my awesome writing group which helped me throw some plot points out the window and develop others. They’re the people who are most likely to tell you openly and honestly what will work and what won’t. And that’s a good thing. Another great sounding board might be an ‘ideal reader’. This could be a friend you trust or someone you know who reads and appreciates your writing. This person will be looking at it...
10 things I Learned Writing My Third Novel: #1 Write And The Ideas Will Come

10 things I Learned Writing My Third Novel: #1 Write And The Ideas Will Come

With less than two weeks to go until the release of my third novel, Close To Home (and yes, I am excited!!!) I’ve been pondering, again, this whole writing business. Starting work on a new novel, I’ve found the same issues keep arising, the same old worries, concerns and obstacles that came up with novels 1 and 2. I’m the first to admit I’m a bit of a slow learner but I have found it worthwhile to review my novel writing experiences. So, in no particular order I’ll be doing a series of posts (to be posted each Wednesday, this one is a day late) on that very topic, partly as a reminder to myself and hopefully to help some other writers out there. Here goes with Number 1: If You’re Stuck Just keep Writing. I’m not a planner. I’m one of those writers who starts with an idea or image, leaps into the story and lets the characters and plot develop as I write. With Close To Home I fully intended to ‘correct’ this habit. I sat down, pen in hand, began writing out dot points, managed about six and hit a wall. No matter how hard I tried, how many lists I brainstormed or diagrams I drew, that was as far as my plotting would go. So I reverted to my previous mode of operating – pantsing – and started writing. It was easy, I had the beginning of the story playing in my head like a movie. The character, the place, the initial part of the plot. Words flowed fairly effortlessly onto the page. I sat...