This Week I’m chatting with Jennie Jones and Loretta Hill. Feel free to eavesdrop.

This week I’m making a couple of guest appearances on other blogs, chatting about my about-to-be-released second novel Essie’s Way. Thought I’d share the links with you in case you’d like to hear more about it. You can check out the other great things on these lovely ladies’ blogs while you’re there: Jennie Jones – http://www.jenniejonesromance.com/jenniejromance-blog.html Loretta Hill – http://lorettahill.wordpress.com...

Writers Unleashed: What Do Publishers Want?

Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking at the Writer’s Unleashed (aka Sutherland Shire Writers) Festival about Rural Fiction. Although the audience was small it was great to be able to chat about writing and to share what I’ve learnt with others. Also of interest was the session on What Publishers Want, where a panel of three publishers shared what they are looking for. So today i thought I’d share some of those tips with you … First up was Emma Rafferty from Pan Macmillan. Emma gave a very detailed talk and here are some of the points she made: The bottom line is that publishers want good stories that are well told An author who can be turned into a brand Someone who has written, or has the potential to write, multiple books A wide potential market – a book readers are willing to pay for and feel like they got their money’s worth An author who has the ability to market and promote their book Publishers are starting to approach successful indie digital authors to publish their works in print (a la 50 Shades) New Adult is an increasingly popular genre Her advice to authors submitting to the slush pile is to – follow the submission guidelines, give your cover letter a commercial flavour, a strong synopsis, a well-edited three chapters with a strong voice and evidence of a strong plot, a full bio Beverley Cousins from Random House followed up with this: Putting “what a publisher wants” into words is like asking “how long is a piece of strain?” It changes throughout the year depending on...

The Power Of a Deadline – How I Wrote A Novel In Six Months

I’ve been caught up in a writing whirlwind for the last 6 months – writing, revising and just this week doing a copyedit on my soon to be released second novel, Essie’s Way. It’s been one of the busiest, high-pressured times in my life but I know it will all be worth it when I hold that first copy in my hand. Over the next couple of months I’ll be writing a few posts to fill you in on the background of the novel and giving you some sneak peeks at the story. One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt over the last twelve months is to keep on writing. I’ve always been the type of writer who works fairly intensely for a period of time and then has a few weeks off. When Blackwattle Lake, my debut novel was published last December, I was so excited I took not just weeks but months off so when I caught up with my lovely publisher, Vanessa, sometime in February and she told me Hachette would like to publish a second novel – soon – I almost choked. Apart from a vague outline for a sequel to Blackwattle all I had was  20,000 very rough words about two characters – an older woman and a younger one – with no plot and no notion of how the two characters were even connected. it’s truly amazing what a little – or a LOT – of pressure can do. I went home and came up with a synopsis that weekend which was accepted within a week and a deadline of just over 4...

Writer Wednesday Interview with Barbara Hannay, Author of Home Before Sundown

This week it’s my pleasure to welcome Barbara Hannay to the blog. Barbara is a prolific writer with over 40 books to her credit. Her most recent release is Home before Sundown. Coming home can break your hear… or change your life For Bella Fairburn, a girl from the bush, her new life in Europe is a dream come true – not least because of her gorgeous French ski-instructor boyfriend. But news of her beloved father’s heart attack brings Bella rushing back to Australia along with her aunt Liz, an acclaimed musician who’s been living in London for the past thirty years. While her father recuperates, Bella seizes the chance to finally prove to him that she’s perfectly capable of taking over until he recovers. But coming home to Mullinjim is fraught with emotional danger for both Bella and Liz.  While Bella is confident she can deal with drought, the threat of bushfires, and cattle bogged in muddy dams, she fears facing her neighbour Gabe Mitchell. Gabe is the man she once hoped to marry, but he’s also the man who broke her heart. For Liz, Mullinjim holds a painful secret from her past that must never be revealed… In the rugged beauty of the outback, new futures beckon, but Bella and Liz must first confront the heartaches of the past. * Thanks for visiting Flying Pony Barbara. Looking forward to reading Home Before Sundown. *** What activities (other than writing) get your creative juices flowing? I find it important to “refill the well” and I have a few favourite ways. I love listening to music (mostly classical), visiting...

Writer Wednesday: Heather Garside, Author of Breakaway Creek on The Writing Process

Today I’d like to welcome Heather Garside to the Blog.     Heather’s latest release Breakaway Creek is now available as an ebook and in print. Two city women – a century apart – find love and adventure in the Queensland outback. Two love stories; two parallel lives; two destinies. Set in the 19th and 21st centuries, Heather Garside’s debut novel is a passionate rural romance of love and its consequences. Shelley and Emma are separated by time but bound by a dark secret to a place called Breakaway Creek. Betrayed by her long-term boyfriend, Shelley Blake has fled the city to return to her home town. Her interest in a photograph of her great-great-grandparents is piqued by her family’s reticence about the mystery couple, and a search for answers takes her to the cattle station Breakaway Creek. Here she meets Luke Sherman, a man embroiled in the bitter ending of his marriage and a heart-breaking separation from his two small boys. Shelley resists an instant attraction to Luke, as neither is ready for a new relationship. And, while Luke struggles to reclaim his children, Shelley uncovers the truth about her ancestors, Alex and Emma. A story of racial bigotry and a love that transcends all obstacles takes the reader back to the pioneering days of the 1890s.   Thanks so much for joining me on Flying Pony Heather and congratulations on Breakaway Creek. * 1.What activities (other than writing) get your creative juices flowing? Listening to music, being outdoors, reading if it’s something that inspires me emotionally. When I was younger and spent many hours on horseback, mustering,...

Writer Wednesday: YA Fantasy Author Wanda Wiltshire, Author of Betrothed on The Writing Process

This week I welcome to the blog Young Adult Fantasy author Wanda Wiltshire. I first met Wanda when she walked into a Creative Writing class I was teaching a few years ago. She was writing her first novel at that stage, having had an epiphany that she was meant to be a writer … but I won’t say any more, I’ll let her tell that story. That novel she was writing was Betrothed which was published last week by Pantera Press. Even if you’re not a YA or Fantasy reader this book will have you hooked from page one! T he first in an enchanting faery series by Wanda Wiltshire Amy Smith has always known she was different. Severe allergies, fragile health and taunts at school have made life an endurance test for the adopted seventeen year old. When Amy starts having strange dreams, everything changes. Night after night, she becomes trapped in a shroud of black – a void of silence but for a male voice calling for a girl named ‘Marla’. One night, the darkness clears, Leif is revealed and Amy discovers that she is the girl he has been searching for. Immediately the two are swept up in a passionate yet forbidden love. Leif isn’t like the other boys Amy knows. Breathtakingly gorgeous, he speaks with her telepathically … not to mention, he can fly … Desperate to find a way to be with her, Leif tells Amy of the terrifying threat to his Fae homeland, the danger to the people, and of an unforgivable betrayal to his King. He urges her to seek her true...