Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS to one of my fabulous critque partners, Maya Blake, who just received THE CALL. She's the latest addition to the Harlequin Presents line and I can't wait to see her first book on the shelves.
Secondly, there's some really great writing opportunities out there at the moment. They are:
1. Harlequin Romance Fast-Track: You'll hear back on the results of your submission in ONE month. You've got to love that. All you need is a first chapter, synopsis and query letter. This one closes April 23rd.
Today, I'm excited to welcome guest blogger, Harlequin Medical author, Louisa George! It seems like it was just yesterday that I was reading about Louisa's good news on the forums and now her debut has been released! Welcome Louisa!
thanks for having me here today!
I’m a self-confessed workshop junkie. I’ve
been known to sign up for three online courses in a month, done back-to-back international
conferences (with the same speakers!!), attended face-to-face, online, month
long, and weekend courses…all in the name of honing my
craft (okay, and a little bit of procrastination too). And don’t even ask me
about the number of craft books I own….
By far and away the most stand-out workshop
I’ve ever attended was by the amazing Margie Lawson, a few years ago, at Romance
Writers of New Zealand annual conference. That woman is a dynamo!
You know, some
workshops you kind of go…yadda, yadda, okay, whatever?
Not at Margie’s. Not for me. Margie was
talking about editing, she has a system called EDITS, she also talked about body
language and how to empower emotion. Something clicked…her system can be
applied to anyone’s work. There’s a check-list to improve scenes, actual ways
of powering up my language and editing my words…making me a better writer.
Perhaps it’s the methodical part of my brain (I have a methodical part? Who
knew?) rejoicing at the concept of a system, or just Margie’s infectious
enthusiasm and countless examples of stellar writing, but after attending her
workshop my writing improved immeasurably.
My Top Five Margie Aha Moments: (it was hard to
whittle down to five)
I love this idea- find the
most important word of a sentence and END the sentence with it. This adds
strength, leaves the reader with a punch.
Using words to describe
the setting can echo/highlight the action/emotion in the scene. Eg: Cruel wind,
barren land etc- although describing setting is adding layers and punch to the
emotions of an infertile woman.
3.Anaphora - repeating a word at the
beginning of three sentences. The sentences are all in a row. Adds power and
4.Cadence and rhythm
Read your paragraphs out
loud and listen to the rhythm. Cadence is made up of a mix of short and long
sentences. I liken cadence to the music
of your words.
Always check every sentence,
every word and see how you can add power or clarity, tighten, lose cliché’s, use
the senses, increase tension, add fresh writing.
Margie’s website www.margielawson.com has details of all
her teaching commitments and her new Writing Academy. And the best part- if you
don’t get a chance to attend one of her workshops in person, she sells the
lecture packages as downloads too!
Are you a workshop junkie like me? Any
particular workshops you could recommend?
One Month To Become A Mum
Some things in life are worth waiting for…
Jessie Price has lost her only chance at motherhood
– it’s a constant hurt, until she meets sinfully sexy single dad Dr Luke
McKenzie and his gorgeous little girl. Luke’s intoxicating kisses and his
daughter’s adoring hugs have Jessie longing for the impossible. But she's a
temporary locum, the clock’s ticking – and there’s only a month to make all her
wishes come true…
born and brought up in Yorkshire, England. And yes, many hours were spent on
the brooding, bleak Yorkshire Moors dreaming of Heathcliff and other dark,
tortured heroes! I read avidly from a young age, and it seemed a natural
extension that I would pen my own stories and poems (the early ones are locked
away in a drawer where they should stay for eternity!).
Then followed years of studying, nurse training and
marriage, two kids and well.... life took over and writing was put aside as a
We emigrated to Auckland, New Zealand in 2002, to
feed our passion for travel. It was a place we had never visited and knew
no-one - what a thrill! We soon felt very much at home. It is a wonderful place
to bring up children.... and to follow your dreams.
Strange things happen here. While doing chores I
began to get strings of poetry writing itself in my head, then story ideas
would suddenly formulate out of nowhere, characters were telling me their
stories and demanding I wrote them! I decided I either needed to visit a doctor
or get some therapy! In the end I did neither, but instead I enrolled in an
evening class in Creative Writing and have been writing poetry and stories in
snatched moments of spare time ever since.