In The Plotting Shed

In The Plotting Shed
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Monday, 25 July 2016

5*s for the whole Katherine Wheel Series ***** #amreading #amwriting

Format: Kindle Edition
"I became caught up in this series. A few very late nights still up and reading. All characters were very well developed.
I need Kleenex at times,but that's what tells you you're in love with these characters. 
I would have liked to know more about the manor and the children. What happened with the other dear ones.
Do you think another book might let us know the answers ? Will definitely recommend to friends."

So pleased with this review of the whole series posted in the US. Really motivated now to write Woodbine and Ivy which 
will take the characters from The Katherine Wheel Series into the arena of the second World War - as if they
haven't suffered enough! Now the children of Katy and Cassandra have to face their life-changing challenges as
they deal with another global drama and readers will find out exactly how the two families' destinies finally collide.
Lots of research for this one, so it will take some digging for that, but I'm hoping to get it out next year, 2017. I'm just
polishing off the very different new book, The Rose Trail, which should be published this autumn, 2016.
Watch this space!

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Rewarding!

Doing a free promotion is an odd feeling, giving away something you've slogged so hard at for nothing but not only have Peace Lily and Speedwell benefited, my writer's heart was completely uplifted by the following review. Maybe I would never have reached this reader, had I not done the giveaway and I feel truly rewarded now.

"5.0 out of 5 stars
Daffodils (The Katherine Wheel Book 1) 

Rarely do I read a book this good. Told from the point of view of Katy, a young English woman 

of working class roots, who moves from service as a maid in a manor house to marriage
 to working as a mechanic in France during WW1. The world changes incredibly during
 those years and this is an excellent recounting of those changes from a woman's point of view. 
Primary in the story is the love and marriage of Katy and Jem with strong secondary characters 
being brought in throughout the story. I bought the next book in the series within 5 minutes of 
finishing this one. The writing is excellent, emotional and descriptive, with well developed characters.
It is well edited, with no profanity or descriptive sexual scenes."

Sunday, 10 July 2016

#FREE Daffodils for a short time only http://rxe.me/BPUQAY4

Having completely revised Daffodils, I'm letting her go free today and tomorrow.
Book One of The Katherine Wheel Series drags Katy and Jem into the global arena of World War One and changes their lives forever.
Cheadle is a sleepy village in rural Wiltshire, England. Nothing much changes and little family dramas provide the only food for scandal and gossip. Then WW1 erupts into the lives of these country people, leaving no-one unscathed.
We meet Katy as a young maidservant, restless for more than domestic service can offer and reckless to a fault. We see her develop and mature, as life throws joys and tragedies across her path and the war lures Jem away. Another man tempts her to stay home but in the end she too signs up for the war and in doing so, finds her true self, and discovers that the only thing that really matters is, after all, simply love.



DAFFODILS

Book One of The Katherine Wheel Series
Click this link to get free copy http://rxe.me/BPUQAY4

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Peace - at least in the Plotting Shed #amwriting

Peace reigns, temporarily at least, in The Plotting Shed, as I begin the re-write of The Rose Trail, after my editor, Tomas Martin's, insightful comments on the first draft.
His energy, acute observations and pithy criticism always energise and inspire me. I've learnt to take the brutal truth on the chin, knowing it always bears luscious fruit.
Amongst these comments was one I treasure: It's the best first draft you've ever written.
As I begin weaving some threads, some depth and a few red herrings into the story, I am astonished to find the seeds have already been sown when I wrote the first draft. This happens every time and never ceases to amaze me. It's as if my subconscious knew all along where those threads and strands should be and planted their genesis within the race to the finish that getting the story down entails. You have to keep up the momentum in the first draft. Yes, there is an outline, but that doesn't allow for the characters to run away with your carefully worked out plot and embellish it. Which makes for a rollercoaster ride as you commit their actions, words and deeds onto the document.
Returning to the story the second time around, imbued with the refreshing ideas of Beta No 1 and Editor, is quite a different experience. It's more relaxed for a start; there is no rush to see if all the plot lines will work out the way you hoped they would. It is more careful, not calculated as such, but thoughtful. It is craft.
I love this stage! And especially when I find that the original script has the space and the intention ready and willing to be reworked.
As I write more books, I find I panic less. The pattern of how I put a book together seems to have evolved now. It feels more creative, less stressful, more manageable and infinitely more rewarding.
It'll be up to you readers to tell me if you feel the same.
Life is busy for me at the moment and writing time under pressure but I'm still on target to publish by the autumn.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Thorny matters: Alex Martin spinning Katherine Wheels

Thorny matters: Alex Martin spinning Katherine Wheels: I am continuing my cunning plan to interview other authors (i.e. let them do the work), with an interview with Alex Martin, author of the Ka...

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Building a book

The long road to finishing a book is can be a tortuous, slow one. I'm on The Rose Trail still and spent the weekend chatting with my editor, my son Tom, as he read the first draft and I paced and made notes while he voiced his thoughts.
The upside is he thinks it's the strongest first draft I've ever written and has come up with some great ideas for twists and layered complexity, which, after all, is what the second draft is all about. 
So, it's back to the drawing board for me and on such a wet, stormy day, it's not such a bad idea.
Meanwhile, here are some pictures I've been playing around with for the cover - not that I'm procrastinating or anything.



 I would love some feedback on these as to which appeals most for this ghost story set in dual time, modern day and the English Civil War.



Saturday, 25 June 2016

My turn for an author interview with #Judith Barrow, book blogger extraordinaire


Judith Barrow


I had a lot of fun the other day, chatting with my lovely friend and fellow author, Judith Barrow. Judith writes gritty sagas (see below) and is the instigator and founder of The Tenby Book Fair. She is also a creative writing tutor and I'm privileged to enjoy regular writing workshops with Judith and an equally gifted writer, Thorne Moore, on a regular basis. We share whatever we are working on by reading it out loud and critiquing each others' work - much to the amusement of the other diners in the cafe where we meet. We tend to get a bit loud. Luckily we also share a dark sense of humour and the time flies by as we exchange jokes and our work.
I always know when my work-in-progress is on track when a quiet hush descends from the nearby tables when I'm reading my stuff out. Happy days.

Anyway, here's our chat:

https://judithbarrowblog.com/2016/06/23/today-with-alex-martin/

Judith Barrows books include:

Changing Patterns
Pattern of Shadows
Living in the Shadows