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Category: About writing

A meme thingy

I’ve recently been playing with the making of memes — basically images with a little bit of text. In my case they’ll be snippets from my new book. But my publisher made this for me, so I thought I’d share it here:

Writing No-no's

There’s a lot of writing advice around that is bad — well-intentioned, but misleading. It usually results from people simply repeating what they’ve heard, and turning it into “a rule” that they then share with (or impose on) other new writers.

For instance how often have I seen new writers warned off this kind of thing:

Her eyes dropped to the floor.

No, no, the ‘expert’ instructs  gleefully. If you write this your reader will imagine eyeballs popping out of someone’s head and landing on the floor. You should write:

She lowered her gaze to the floor.

Nonsense, say I. It’s a metaphor. No reader with half a brain is going to think her eyes dropped out of her skull and landed on the floor — because clearly this happens all the time in real life! 

It’s just like saying “She flew to the window” or “He froze” or “He approached the door with leaden footsteps.”

They’re all metaphors! She didn’t literally fly — she hurried; he didn’t literally freeze, he went abruptly still; and his feet weren’t made of lead, it’s a metaphor to show how reluctant he was to approach the door.

So when you’re given writing advice — mine included— think about it, and decide for yourself whether to adopt it or not.

A snippet of Marry In Haste

My new book comes out on 2nd May! That’s tomorrow! Marry In Haste is the first book in a brand new “Marriage of Convenience” series.

Launch day is always nerve-wracking for me, wondering whether readers will like the book or not. Each novel has something for me to worry about — in this case it’s that the romance is a slow burn, rather than insta-love. The heroine doesn’t even appear for several chapters. Some readers don’t like that. Others do. But it was right for the book and for my characters, so I’ll just have to wear it.

The slow burn is because my hero, Cal Rutherford (who has just become Lord Ashendon) has a LOT to learn. I love Cal. He’s a soldier, used to snapping our orders and having them instantly obeyed. But now he’s having to deal with females, especially female relatives, and it’s not easy. Strangely, women and young ladies don’t respond well to have orders tossed at them. Who knew? Certainly not Cal. 

Here, Cal is telling his friend Galbraith, also a former soldier, about his difficulties.

“Remember that time when I was still wet behind the ears and they gave me that troop to command—most of them from the stews of London and only in the army as an alternative to being locked up in prison for God knows how long.”

“Lord, yes. Thugs and villains to a man. Scum of the earth.”

Cal nodded. “Trying to control my young sisters is harder than that.”

“Harder than commanding that riff-raff?” Galbraith gave a snort of amusement. “Pull the other one, Cal. I’ve seen grown men—hard nuts they were too—shaking in their boots when called up before you for some infraction or other.”

“Yes, but they knew I could have them flogged.”

Galbraith shook his head emphatically. “Don’t remember when you ever resorted to flogging.”

“I did once or twice—extreme circumstances.” Cal stared into his brandy glass. “But you can’t flog girls or even threaten it.”

Galbraith nodded. “Quite right, too.  Delicate creatures, females.”

“And soldiers don’t burst into tears at a—very mild—reprimand, or flounce from the room, or sulk, or look at you with big wounded eyes! Or ignore my—very reasonable—orders and go their own merry way!” 

There was a muffled sound from the chair opposite. Cal narrowed his eyes. “Are you laughing at me, Galbraith?”

His friend pulled a large handkerchief from his pocket, blew noisily into it and said with an unnaturally straight face, “No, no. Wouldn’t dream of it.” 

MARRY IN HASTE comes out May 2nd. I hope you enjoy it.

Here’s a universal link for e-books; otherwise shop at your favorite bookstore.