And we’re NTAI again!!

Brief update – cos I’m about to go and eat some celebratory ice-cream – but wanted to let all you faithful blog friends know that I just sent off the next installment of my requested mss to the editor I’m working with at Mills & Boon! NB. I never say MY editor cos I don’t want to jinx my luck!


Fancy a trip to sunny Perth?

Romance Writers of Australia inc

proudly presents

The 2010 Romancing The West Conference


Juliet Marillier (
Three time winner of the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Novel

Fiona Lowe (
Harlequin Medical author and 2007 Finalist for Romantic Book of the Year. (R*BY).

Fiona Palmer (
Penguin Australia author

Nikki Logan (
Harlequin Sweet author

Plus: giveways and much, much more.

Come and hear some of Australia’s leading romance authors talk about the craft of writing and the industry they work in. With interactive tutorials and an author panel, it’s a day no aspiring author should miss.

After a day full of information, relax and catch up with your new friends at our post conference dinner.

Saturday 1st May 2010

Metro Hotel
61 Canning Hwy


Pay before 1st April 2010 After 1st April

RWA Members $100 $110

Non-Members $110 $120

Set 2 Course Dinner – $35.00 per head (Drinks not included)

Prices include lunch, morning and afternoon tea

For more information or to register go to

I should mention that I met my lovely writing pal Janette at the last Perth mini-conference and that there have been a number of Calls quite soon after people have attended this day! Nikki Logan, Christina Phillips, Loretta Brabant, Shona Husk, Michelle Diener are all people who’ve attended at subsequently SOLD!!!

Worrying for worrying’s sake!

Yep – that’s me. As if I don’t have enough to focus on with the mss I’m polishing up to sub and the fabulous course I’m doing on motivation, I’ve decided to add in something else.

I spent almost ALL day yesterday working myself up into a state trying to think of a new Modern Heat idea for my NEXT mss.
My reasoning being that one way or another – I’ll need to start a new story soon. If the editor LOVES my mss and I get that elusive CALL (hey, a gal can dream), then I’ll need to write another for them and another and another. If the editor doesn’t think I’ve quite got there, then hopefully she’ll be happy to look at a new submission, which means I’ll need to write another.
In the past I haven’t had problems coming up with characters or a cute-meet/hook to get them meeting BUT now I’ve learnt a lot more, I realise that isn’t enough.
I need to think about conflicts, making them opposites in some ways but with things in common enough to make them fall in love, motivations, believable backstories and of course what happens between 1k and 50k.
I’ve got this fabulous hero I want to write and his backstory is pretty developed (it may even push those BOUNDARIES editors keep mentioning), even think I have his conflict. And I’ve got a gorgeous heroine who needs a little bit more developing but I can’t for the LIFE OF ME work out how they meet!!!
And personally this bit is really important for me. I’ve been bored in a stories a lot lately cos the h&H meet in such a mundane way. So I’m getting ahead of myself and stressing!
Anyway I’m really just rambling here and letting you know that I’ve been working hard on my current MH sub and stressing about the next one, which is why my posts have been VERY few and far between.
Hope everyone else is too busy writing up a storm to have noticed my absence!!!

Quick post on writing process!

Hey folks

Am crazily trying to finish my mss that I entered in the Emmy!
You see, I had every intention to have it finished well before the second round announcement but then I got the revisions request on the partial from the ed. I stopped writing the rest of the book then and rewrote the beginning so it actually changed quite dramatically. I assumed I probably wouldn’t get into the second round and would worry about crossing that bridge (ie. writing the last 10k of original version) when and if I did.
So Monday, I get the email saying I’m through. Monday night I read ALL what I had written of original incarnation and Tuesday I start writing.
Now usually… at least lately… I’ve been a pretty low-output writer. I try for 5k a week but frequently don’t make it. Now I had to write 10k in less than a week.
There was a fair amount of cursing and screaming.
And then I got on with it.
And what I’ve learnt is that I CAN write when my muse is taking a tea break and I CAN write when I’m tired or have a sore throat or have had not a moment’s peace during the day. I CAN write to deadline.
I’m just hoping that when this is all over, I maintain the discipline I’ve been forced to adopt.
End of ramblings!

The subjectivity of writing contests!

I’ve probably written a blog post about contests before but I’m too lazy to look through the archives to check. Hopefully I’m not being TOO repetitive.

I have good news. I got into the second round of the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald contest. This is a full mss contest. In the first round entrants send in the partial and if they get in the top 15, they progress to the next round and have to send in the full.
So, I’m working like crazy to polish up the mss that got through and make it the very best it can be.
But while I’m taking a break, I thought I’d just mention something about contests. A few lovely people have emailed me to say ‘congrats – you must be soooooooo close now as you’re doing so well in the contests, etc.’ But you know what… my contest success is hit and miss and I imagine most other people find that too.
In this years RWA Oz High Five contest, my mss was soooooooooooooooo close to the bottom, at a first glance at the ratings sheet, I thought it wasn’t there. This same mss came VERY close to the top in the first round of the Emerald.
So really… I guess the moral of the story is that writing is subjective whatever stage of your career you’re at.
I’m certainly not counting my chickens about getting through to the finals!!!