The Who’s Who of Matt McKinnell has left my computer. Well, hopefully it’s still there but a copy of the full mss is now winging its way through cyberspace to editor, Lucy Gilmour! If it had gone via snail mail, I’d have kissed it a lucky good-bye… 

Wish me luck and watch this space!


The title of this post is I suppose a play on words (is that what I mean? I am so very sleep deprived.)

I got a rejection on ”For Love or Ratings” the full mss, which Super requested last year. But it wasn’t all bad – infact, considering a number of things and that it was my first ever full submission, I think it was rather Super!!!

Thanks but no thanks basically – the story doesn’t work for us! Then they listed all the things they are looking for – basically the guidelines on eharl and said that while my proposal contains some of these elements, it lacks others. I knew that!!! And am not at all surprised, semi-relieved in fact cos I think it has enough faults in it that I wouldn’t be able to resurrect it at the moment. If ever!

Here’s an extract:

”Despite an intriguing premise, the story suffers from inconsistent style and tone. Parts of the story appear to be a somewhat screwball comedy, while others rely heavily on psychological introspection. While the screwball aspect has potential, the execution doesn’t work. To be successful, the story would need several things. First, a facetious type of misunderstanding to tart it off – the instant attraction/hot sex we have here denies the story even this opening conflict! (fabulous point but why didn’t they pick it up in the partial and let me FIX IT??) Second, the writing needs to take a light and jaunty approach to the story, and avoid the psychological baggage that weighs this version down. Then, related to the second point, the psychological background with Declan’s mother and MAddie’s miscarriage would need to be taken out and replaced with a series of clashes and misunderstandings between them building up to a conflict climax. So, although the concept of the story has potential, the approach the writing takes needs to be reexaminded.”

And that was basically it!!! 

I totally agree and I was fairly certain they’d reject me. I didn’t believe it was a GOOD ENOUGH book to be out there. And I never want a book that is just GOOD ENOUGH published. I want one that SPARKLES as unique!

 I’m putting this one away for good – perhaps one day I’ll take elements from it, but overall I think this is a good thing. It was my first real attempt at category and I wasn’t actually targetting a particular line, especially not Super.

So, I’m forgetting about Super for a while and focusing on Modern Heat. At least until I hear from the editor on THAT sub and they say it’s not for them 🙂

Addicted to Wii-Fit

I think I finished my mss JUST in time. You see it was my birthday on Sunday and my DH gave me a Wii and a Wii-Fit. I’ve always been adamently against computer/video games – don’t see the point – but I’d read on a few writing blogs about the Wii-Fit and it sounded fascinating. Must have dropped enough hints because early Sunday morning my three big men (baby was asleep) piled two big boxes on the bed next to me, eager smiles almost splitting their faces. I unwrapped and joined them in the silly grinning! 

I’ve had the toy two days now and am constantly wanting to play. Despite the fact it tells me I’m overweight, and let’s face it, fairly uncoordinated, I keep going back for more. Am loving Hoola Hooping and Step Aerobics. But I know when I get stuck into a new novel, my Wii time will have to become my writing time again.
Or perhaps I’ll use Wii as a reward once I’ve written a certain amount. Has to be better than chocolate! 
Do you use rewards to get writing done?

Done and Dusted!

I feel just like this kitty! Exhausted but with a smug smile on my face that it’s finally over. 

I have finally finished my edit of ”The Who’s Who of Matt McKinnell” with just over a week to go till my self-imposed deadline. M&B requested the full of this mss asking me to take into account the following before revising it for submission:
*Alpha up the hero.
*Deepen the emotional conflicts of both Matt and Libby.
*Make sure Libby has her own internal emotional conflict.
Sounds easy when summarised like that, but I’m agonising over whether or not I’ve come close to achieving the above. One things for certain, in trying to enhance the conflicts, I’ve managed to write far more than the word count required for Modern Heat. WWMM comes in at just over 55k, so I’m seriously worried that if they do warrant this mss worthy of revisions, I’ll end up writing a book that’s too long for them anyway. 
Time to stop worrying and forward the story onto a couple of people who said they’d read not to crit but as if they were reading a real book and let me know if there’s any major NO-NOs!! Then… next Friday… I’m pushing send. 
Wish me luck!

Over-using words…

I’m editing. Hopefully I’m on almost the last read through and edit of WWMM before I send it off on its own in cyberspace to M&B. 

And today…? Today I’m not feeling all that confident. Yesterday when I read, I thought it was pretty hot stuff (haha), today I feel every scene has more telling than showing and I’m appalled at some words which I use as often as I think about eating chocolate. Yep, a lot!!
And then there’s other words I totally misuse – ”the silence combusted.” Good God, what was I thinking? 
Oh and there’s a question… I have my characters ask a lot of them, to themselves. Isn’t talking to oneself the first sign of madness? Are insane characters appealling to readers?
I guess this is why we need to read our work, edit and polish. 
So… go on… tell all! Are there any things you do too much of or words you use a lot? 

Meant For Each Other

I recently read Lee Duran’s Superromance titled ”Meant For Each Other.” It’s one of the ones meant for the now defunct Everlasting Love line (following a love over decades)  and I really like it.

It was different to most categories in that the hero and heroine were very flawed. The heroine gave their baby away when she was in her teens and this is a secret she keeps from the hero till they are pushing retirement age. 
The hero however really shocked me. When they first get married, he falls in with a bad crowd (who happen to be the couple’s housemates) and ends up getting totally stoned on drugs. While off his face, he sleeps with an absolutely horrendous character who has been trying to steal him away from the heroine for ages. So we have a drug-taking, cheating hero? He’s definitely one of the first I’ve seen in category romance… 
Strangely, or perhaps not so, this is one of my favourite romances for a while. It showed a love between REAL people, people who aren’t always perfect and it showed how as imperfect people we need to be able to forgive our loved ones if we truly want to live happy lives.
Love to hear if you’ve read any books that stood out as different lately?

Goals for 2009…

I know we’re almost nine days into 2009 and I’m way behing the times on New Year’s resolutions, but really… I have NO time at the moment. Have been trying to catch up on sleep and edit WWMM at the same time as doing all life’s other necessities. But enough on the excuses…. I’m not making resolutions exactly, just goals of things I’d like to achieve by the end of this year.  Of course, I’d like to be published but that’s not something I have total control over, so that’s not on the list.

 All the things are achievable if i really, truly, absolutely, completely (can you tell I’ve been reading Charlie and Lola to my boys) put my all into it!
* To finish editing WWMM and submit the full to Lucy Gilmour by the end of January – this is TOTALLY achievable.
*To write another category targetted romance (well at least one, but I’m being realistic that I have three young boys) – either for Modern Heat or Superromance, depending on feedback I get from editors. 
*To read more how-to books – this was on my ”goal” list last year and it didn’t really happen. And books about writing – I’ve just ordered ”Becoming a writer”, which people have been raving about on RomAus, from Book Depository. 
*To participate in an online writing bootcamp and attend the Romance Roadshow in WA. 
Now… non writing related:
*To get my toddler out of nappies – BRING IT ON!
*To lose enough weight that I’ll look good in little shorts next summer – okay.. so maybe I’m dreaming!
What about you… what’s your biggest goal for 2009??

 If time and baby permits, I plan on doing a host of New Year posts – goals for 2009, reflections on things I loved/favourites in 2008 and of course, starting with a list of the books I read in 2008.  Here tis…

The ones I particularly loved are in Pink!

* The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes; Jenny Crusie, Eileen Dreyer, and Anne Stuart.

*Purchased For Pleasure; Nicola Marsh.

*Vow And A Vengeful Groom; Bronwyn Jameson.

*Jane Eyre; Charlotte Bronte.

*The Bridesmaid’s Best Man; Barbara Hannay.

*Let Me Call You Sweetheart; Mary Higgins Clark.

*My Best Friend’s Girl; Dorothy Koomson

*The Haunting; Hope Tarr.

*The Ex Factor; Anne Oliver.

*Pride and a Pregnancy Secret; Tessa Radley.

*The Princess and The Cowboy; Lois Faye Dyer.

 *His Mistress, His Terms; Trish Wylie.

*Fast Women; Jenny Crusie.

*The Story of Doctor Dolittle; Huge Lofting.

*A Wild Night and A Marriage Ultimatum; Robyn Grady.

*Lady Luck’s Map of Vegas; Barbara Samuels.

*One Night, One Baby; Kate Hardy.

*Bedded By Arrangement; Natalie Anderson.

*The Mile High Club; Heidi Rice.

*Ain’t She Sweet; Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

*My Tall Dark Greek Boss; Anna Cleary.

*The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Louis Stevensen.

*The Bride’s Baby; Liz Fielding.

*Taken by The Bad Boy; Kelly Hunter.

*Breakfast at Giovanni’s; Kate Hardy.

*31 Dream Street; Lisa Jewell.

*Wedding in Warragurra; Fiona Lowe.

*The Rouseabout; Rachael Treasure.

*Business in the Bedroom; Anne Oliver.

*The Valley; Di Morrissey.

*Spirit Willing, Flesh Weak; Julie Cohen.

*Twilight; Stephanie Meyer.

*This Is How It Happened; Jo Barrett.

*Anyone But You; Jenny Crusie.

*The Second Virginity of Suzy Green; Sara Hantz.

*Boardrooms and a Billionairre Heir; Paula Roe.

*Heaven, Texas; Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

*Claimed by the Billionaire Bad Boy; Trish Wylie.

*Dead Famous; Ben Elton.

*The Stolen Princess; Anne Gracie.

*My Tall Dark Greek Boss; Anna Cleary.

*Mistress Under Contract; Natalie Anderson.

*Taken By The Maverick Millionairre; Anna Cleary.

*As Darkness Falls; Bronwyn Parry.

*Return of the Wild Son; Cynthia Thomoson.

*One Night Stand; Julie Cohen.

*A Kiss To Remember; Kimberly Van Meter.

*New Moon; Stephanie Meyer.

*The Tycoon’s Very Personal Assistant; Heidi Rice.

*Worth Fighting For; Molly O’Keefe.

*Hot Nights With A Playboy; Nicola Marsh.

*More Than A Memory; Roz Denny Fox.

*Blue Remembered Shoes; Nell Dixon.

*Pleasured By The Secret Millionaire; Natalie Anderson.

*One Good Turn; Kate Atkinson.

*Hotly Bedded, Conveniently Wedded; Kate Hardy.

*Pregnant By The Playboy Tycoon; Anne Oliver.

*Obsession; Karen Robbards – crap, threw it on the floor at page 298 out of 330-ish!

*Don’t Make Me Choose Between You and My Shoes; Dixie Cash.

*Housekeeper At His Beck and Call; Susan Stephens.

*The Girl Most Likely; Rebecca Sparrow.

*Addicted To Nick; Bronwyn Jameson.

*In Bed With The Boss’s Daughter; Bronwyn Jameson.

*Sinners and Saints; Eileen Dreyer.

*The Holiday Visitor; Tara Taylor Quinn.

*Christmas In Key West; Cynthia Thomaon.

*Return To Baragula; Mary Hawkins.

*The Forgotten Garden; Kate Morton.

*The Playboy Doctor’s Marriage Proposal; Fiona Lowe.

*I Gave You My Heart But You Sold It Online; Dixie Cash.

*Baby Bequest; Robyn Grady.

*The Marriage Recipe; Michelle Dunaway.

*Confessions of a Millionaire Mistress; Robyn Grady.

*Agnes and the Hitman; Jenny Crusie and Bob Mayer.

*Pleasure, Pregnancy and a Proposition; Heidi Rice.

*Bought: One Night, One Marriage; Natalie Anderson.