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Category: News

Bellaire Gardens

THE RAKE’S DAUGHTER, the second book in the Bellaire Gardens series, has been approved by my editor, and has gone in for copyediting — that’s where a copyeditor checks that no Australian/English spelling has crept in, any typos are found and fixed, no character’s eyes have changed color, and it all makes perfect sense. It’s amazing how small mistakes can be overlooked, despite the number of times I and my editor have read it. (My editor has read it at least twice — before and after revisions — and I couldn’t even guess at how many times I’ve read it.) So thank goodness for the eagle eye of the copyeditor.

After copyediting I get to read it again, and accept or reject the copyeditor’s suggested changes, then the book goes back to be laid out the way it will appear in the final book and I’m sent a pdf proof copy. That’s my last chance to spot a mistake — not to change or improve anything — it’s too late for that. I print off any pages  where a change needs to be made, take photos of them with the mistake marked,  send them back, and then that’s done.

I haven’t been given a release date yet, and I don’t yet have a cover, or a final back cover blurb.  

A few people have wondered about the setting of Bellaire Gardens, where all the heroines live. It was inspired by several large private gardens in London — not the ones you can look at through railings, and get into with a key, or climb the fence as in the film Notting Hill. No, this garden can only be accessed through the back gates of the houses that enclose the garden. You can’t even see the garden from the street — maybe a tree-top or two over the roof-tops, if you’re looking carefully.

Like this garden, which is one of the ones that inspired me. Above is the view from the street — there’s no sign of a  garden at all, is there?

And below is the view of the private garden behind the houses. Nice, eh?

Are you in the UK?

Because if you are, my little Christmas novella is on an amazon special monthly deal for the October. 

Amazon controls this — they asked if I’d be interested, but stressed that my book might not be selected. I said yes, not really knowing what it would involve.

And lo! It means that in the UK for the month of October my Christmas novella, THE CHRISTMAS BRIDE will cost only 99p.

It’s a sweet little story (with no explicit bedroom scenes) and though it’s a standalone story, you’ll also meet some old friends from the Chance sisters series.
It’s had some lovely reviews, too, for which I’m very grateful.
It’s also a finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia RBY awards.

Here’s the link.
Or copy and paste this:

For writers: Motivation

I know a lot of people have found it hard to get motivated in the last couple of years, with the pandemic and other issues weighing them down. 

I was watching this little video by an Aussie guy whose advice I really like, and it made me recall a story told to me by a US author friend some years ago. She and another friend in her writing group, both multi-published with major publishers, had lost their writing mojo and hadn’t written anything for over a year.

Month after month, they’d turn up to their writers’ group meeting and watch everyone else produce some writing to be read and discussed, and each month as they muttered “pass” their shame would increase. And they’d go home determined that next month they’d have some writing to share.

But still, they couldn’t write.

Eventually they decided to make a writing pact. It wasn’t the first time they’d tried this, but they’d failed so often it had to be something they couldn’t possibly fail at.  So they came up with this: Write one sentence of their story a day.

Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? One sentence. But after so long failing at writing—and these were published authors, remember, beating themselves up again and again—any success, no matter how small and apparently insignificant, was important.

Of course they didn’t tell anyone else they were doing this. They knew people would laugh at such a small daily goal, not understanding or empathizing with the shame and agony of being unable to write.

So they began their pact, and every day they wrote one sentence. And after they’d written that one sentence, they were free for the rest of the day.

Free from what? you wonder. The thing is, the longer you put something off, the more you fail to do something you know you need to do, the heavier it weighs on you. For writers, this can mean a whole day worrying and fretting and being ashamed and not-writing. Yes, that’s a verb — not-writing.

But one sentence a day set them free. 

Some days they wrote more than one sentence —  at first a couple of sentences, then a paragraph, and even occasionally a page or more. But for more than a year they kept to their pact — a new sentence every day. And of course, soon they were back, writing, bringing pieces to their writing group, and finishing books and being published again.

The video I referred to above has several nuggets of gold advice in it. You need to listen to the whole 10 minutes—it’s all good — but in particular the bit about lowering the barrier to entry, as well as his observations about motivation are gold. If you can’t see the video below, click here.