Saturday, 12 April 2014

Remind me – what’s my name?

I get some of my best ideas in the middle of the night. You know the time I mean, right? Those wee, small hours way before it starts to get light, even in summer.
Now, these ideas are great – the problem is, I don’t often remember them. It used to be that if I woke up, had a light-bulb moment and stayed awake until it was time to get up, then I had a fair to middling chance of remembering. If I dropped back off to sleep (and it would almost invariably be 10 minutes before the alarm went off) then the chances of recalling my middle-of-the-night muse would be slim.

But things have gotten worse. A lot worse. Even if I stay awake now I can’t remember  a thought 5 minutes after I had it. This happened to me last night: I got a good idea (well, I thought it was good), ran it through my brain several times to implant it in the grey matter and decided I wasn’t going to forget this one I a hurry. I even tried a memory technique where I imagined a huge silver chain, with one link missing, sitting in the corner of the room, with a pen embedded in it, like the sword in the stone. Then I had a momentary lapse where thoughts of work popped into my mind (couldn’t help that, despite my best efforts to concentrate on something nicer), then turned back to this marvelous idea, and it had GONE! All I was left with was the vision of a silver chain and no idea what it was for. I spent the next half hour trying to figure it out.

It came back eventually – it just jumped up at me when I wasn’t looking, and now, in the cold light of day, I wonder if it was worth all that effort!

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Live for today?

I try to stick to blogging about writery stuff, whether as a reader or an author, but sometimes I just have to say something about a subject that has nothing to do with writing (unless I make enough income from my books so I can retire – falls about laughing).
I have just read an article entitled ‘Signs You’ll Retire Poor’, which has got me thinking.
In a nutshell, the author reports that we should all save more for our retirement because the odds are that we will all live longer, and that instead of enjoying a lavish lifestyle today we should invest more for our retirement.
Well, I for one don’t have a lavish lifestyle. I wish I did! And although on the surface it seems sensible and reasonable to save for life after work, when I considered this in more detail it made less sense than at first glance. 
 I know many an elderly person who has budgeted carefully all their working lives and saved religiously (whether in a pension scheme or by other means), then got to retirement age and found that after only a few short years of living the 'high-life' on their pensions, they now either do not have the health to enjoy themselves, or have sadly passed away. Then, of course, there is the issue of the government taking away everything you have worked for and saved, in order to pay for your carehome/nursing home.
That's not a very appealing prospect, and whilst I believe that a reasonable amount of preparation for old age is sensible, denying yourself now is not. I may be lucky enough to be healthy and fit at 85, but life does not come with any guarantees and the thought of not seeing the places I want to see, or do the things I want to do, now, whilst I am still young enough and healthy enough to do so, makes me want to cry.

My philosophy? Live for today because you may not be alive tomorrow. 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

My readers say the nicest things

Against all the advice I give myself, I couldn't resist reading reviews of 'Sanctifying Grace,' and what I read makes all the hard graft worthwhile.

Here are a few of the comments left:

"an amazing conclusion to the series"

"Elizabeth Davies really knows how to bring everything to a head"

"with so many twists in the story, I could not put this down"

"this book blew my mind"

"this book is the best in the series"

I would just like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has taken the time to leave a review (whether good or bad, though of course I prefer the good ones!). Without readers there would be no point in authors.
Thank you everyone. You have made me a very happy lady!

Friday, 4 April 2014

Yay - I'm famous (well, a little bit...)

I think I’ve just had my 15 minutes of fame! The Brecon and Radnor Express did a feature on me, and State of Grace, in their newspaper yesterday and I’d like to thank them for taking the time and trouble to both read my novel then write about it.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A very British obsession

Us Brits just can’t stop talking about it – the weather. It fascinates us. It dictates a lot of what we do. For instance, summer holidays. The UK is a beautiful country, whatever the weather, but being outdoors is far more pleasant when it’s warm and sunny. And that’s one thing you can’t really depend on with our climate.

It’s true when people say we have all four seasons in one day, so what hope do we have in hoping for one season in a week? We watch the weather forecasts like hawks, dress for all eventualities and taking almost every single piece of clothing we own when holidaying in this country. Even in the height of summer I will take waterproofs, fleeces, and this jumpers, as well as a bikini, shorts and t-shirts. And I often wear them all – not at the same time admittedly, but I have been known to wear waterproofs and wellies in the morning, asking wet and shivering with the cold,  and having shorts and flip-flops on by the end of the day, and suffering from a mild case of sunstroke.

Perhaps I should have kept the wellies on!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A mind of her own!

Thought I’d try something different – plan out my plot/storyline chapter by chapter for my new novel, because as I have said in a previous post (By the seat of my pants), I normally have a vague idea, an opening line and sometimes a title and I always have a name for my lead character. But this time I planned it all out – meticulously, in detail (well, most of it...)

It didn’t work. I got so far then Seren, my heroine, had other ideas.

I’m not sure if I liked her at first. She was new, strange, and definitely not Grace, and I was unused to her. Then she got into my head – talking to me in the middle of the night, hijacking my thoughts when I least expect it. And now she’s writing her own story. It’s as if I’m seeing a film rolling out in front of my eyes and my role consists of simply recording it.

I have no say in this story at all – it’s Seren’s and she’s got a mind of her own!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

To be(ta read) or not to be(ta read), that is the question…

Actually there is no question: I have learned to my cost that an author should always have a novel beta read, by as many different readers as possible.
The problem I have is exchanging beta reads. I’ve done this on several occasions and I’m not sure if it’s worked out very well at all. One issue I had was an author who read my last novel and sent me feedback (which was greatly appreciated), before I had started on hers. When I did finish reading this manuscript it had, in my opinion, a lot of things that I didn’t think worked (plot, characters, pace, the quality of the writing itself) and I reported this back – as tactfully as possible.
My philosophy is that if I ask betas for their thoughts and they give them, I must take this on the chin. Some will like my work, others won’t, and if several betas are all of the same opinion about a something in my manuscript then I must bite the bullet and do some rewriting.
This author I have recently beta read for was not at all happy. After reading my comments regarding her novel, she then sent me an email telling me of all the things she didn’t like about mine. Why she didn’t tell me at the time she sent me the feedback, I can only guess…. She then proceeded to tell me that she hated vampire novels anyway.
So why read one??

Ok, rant over. I’ll talk about spring lambs and bunny rabbits next time. Promise.