Tuesday, April 28, 2009

24 hours and all is changed.

My, how a story line can change in 24 hours. Yesterday I posted that the hero and heroine were drawn back together by the death of her brother. Scrap that.

Now that I have interviewed them both, it turns out that they are reunited at a school reunion. Our heroine, Josie West, has made a last minute decision to attend the reunion, held in her home town of Bindirin, which is a small coastal town on the Northern NSW coast, as even though her school life was hell (braces, no boobs, too many brains etc) it has to be better than the hell that has erupted around her over the last 24 hours. There she meets the man she fantasised over from under the bleachers in the gym. And damn if he hasnt grown up real nice...I mean realllll nice. So that is where we are at the moment, as they reconnect over a glass of champagne with the realisation dawning that in her real life, Mr Right may have just gone up in the ball of flames, but Mr Right Now might just be what the doctor ordered.

An unexpected pregnancy will follow, along with an unexpected proposal. So stay tuned.

My heroine is Josie West, a graphic designer, my hero is Jack Burrows, sports photographer specialising in Big Wave Surfers and the new title is 'How the West was won.'

Amazing what will transpire when you actually make the time to sit at the computer.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm back

Hi diddley neighbours, I am back after a brief stint wallowing in my rejection...and moving house. Actually, the move gave me more grief than the rejection. As posted earlier, Jenny Hutton gave me heaps of valuable feedback and I know I promised that I would share. So here goes.

Jenny has said from the get go that she loves my voice and she finds my humour and dialogue fresh and vibrant. My mistake was that I gave her both of these things in spades but it was at the cost of the story. I manufactured situations to fit with the humour and even though the dialogue I created was sparky and fun it lacked a ring of truth. Yesterday, I sat down and read her rejection through again and it was as though a lightbulb suddenly went on.I can see exactly what she means. Now, I have to break the habit.

I am currently reading 'Hired: The Bosses Bride' by Ally Blake and if people would like an example of great dialogue, her books really deliver and I can now see where my dialogue fell over. Kelly Hunter is another writer who's dialogue sizzles off the page.

So I have taken my rejection and Ally Blake's/Kelly Hunters library of books and have a brand new manuscript percolating. What is it about you ask? No idea. The heroine...not even a name. A hero...still formulating. But never let the lack of ideas ruin a good story I say. I have always wanted a hero and a heroine with a connected past, so at this moment I have them being drawn back to their home town by the death of her brother (who is also his best friend). They are forced together to preserve something that belonged to the brother, maybe a family business. And they are also forced to confront the wedge that was driven between them years before.

Did I mention that the idea is incredibly raw at this point but at least I now have somewhere to jump off to.

And did I mention that it is great to be back.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

If at first you dont succeed...

Well...the bad news is that I heard from Jenny at Mills and Boon yesterday and the answer was a 'no' to my manuscript 'The House that Jack Built'. (Is that the sound of shock/horror coming from the bleachers, maybe a sigh of disappointment in the back row.)

The good news is that she gave me heaps of great feedback on the manuscript and things to look out for in future submissions. She is also happy to discuss her comments with me and has invited me to send over my next story idea for her feedback.(Someone turn on the clapping machine.) So although I have not received the expected 1500 book contract I was hoping for, I am still miles ahead of where I was before I entered the 'Feel the Heat' competition all those months ago.

Am I disappointed. Of course. But funnily enough, not as much as what I thought. Maybe I am in denial and there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the news sinks in over a couple of glasses of wine. What I do feel is proud...proud that I finally completed and submitted a full manuscript. Now I am really looking forward to taking what I have learnt and pouring it into the new one.

But not until after I move house. So back to the packing boxes and when I get a chance I will share Jenny's feedback with you...the good, the bad, and the ugly (although there was not so much of the ugly).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Contests...To enter or not to enter....

Last week the finalists of the RWA First Kiss competition were announced and sadly...I was not amongst them. I was so devastated I almost had to take to my bed. My entry was sizzling and I had expected (at the very least) a phone call from the editor at Silhouette begging me(on bended knees) for the full manuscript. Of course there would have been the offer of an advance,amount undisclosed, although rumours of sightings of myself in a sporty convertible are yet to be confirmed.

Alas it was not be be and today, just to rub salt into an already septic wound, the judges comments arrived in the mail.I resisted the urge to pour petrol over them and strike a match. And thank goodness for that. The comments from all four judges were fantastic. In fact they were so good, I think I may have them framed. They all universally loved my voice, all saying they loved the comedic tone I bought to my piece and my sassy style. One judge (a published author)said she laughed out loud in places and that I had a real talent for dialogue. Wow! I have now pulled myself out of my bed, put the wine bottles in the recycling and am standing ten feet tall, ready to take on my new manuscript. This is the lowest placing I have ever received for a contest and it is the best result I have ever had.

And in answer to my question and as to whether I will throw myself back into the contest fray. You betcha.

PS: Congratulations to all the finalists as I can only imagine the calibre of your entries.