I think probably every novelist has found themselves writing in secret at some time or other.
I certainly have.
In my case I’d announced that I Was Never Going To Write Another Word after my debut masterpiece — quite rightly — failed to find a publisher. My resolve lasted about 6 months. Just long enough to get a job in a Very Serious Institution and perceive the benefits of a monthly salary. So when I took up my pen again, it was very, very privately.
Yet I was startled to discover Libertà Hive member Joanna Maitland has just published a book I didn’t even know she was working on. (More info here.)
And our birthday treat, to ourselves, and to you, our readers, is a scrummy romantic story, vintage Sophie Weston that you may have missed first time round. Want a RED HOT LOVER for Christmas? Who wouldn’t? Well, you’ll find him right here…
Love match weddings, achieved after much conflict and tribulation, have been a staple of popular novels ever since Pamela. These days it is a given in western society that young people make their own marital choices — in theory, every wedding should be a love match.
So it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t always so, especially among the gentry and aristocracy about whom Joanna and our guest bloggers Anne Gracie, Louise Allen and Nicola Cornick write so delightfully. The grim evidence of bullying, family interests and the protection of property at all costs, is set out in historian Lawrence Stone’s masterly account of courtship, marriage and divorce in England before the 1857 Matrimonial Causes Act, which reformed the law on divorce.
Yet those Georgian and Regency writers do have some historical justification for their True Love and Happy Ever After stories. And that’s all we readers need, right? It wasn’t all bad. Sometimes love triumphed in real life. Continue reading →
At some point every romantic novelist faces the Wedding Dilemma.
If they do — how, when and where?
On the page?
On the last page?
Of course, the purist’s answer is: whatever is right for the characters. But, just as organising a real-life wedding needs to take account of friends and family, the end of a story — perhaps more than any other part of the book — is there to satisfy Readers. To provide emotional closure.
Do Readers want, need a wedding to achieve that? Even if the characters don’t? Continue reading →
Cover design is a whole new area for me. Before I self published, I sold my stories to big publishers. The cover was part of the deal. Sometimes a good part.
First Pitfall — Absent Author
Sometimes not so much. The Author’s input back then generally consisted of doing a précis of the story and describing the characters’ looks. The designer made of that what he/she would. It could be pretty weird. The cover design where the heroine’s only identifiable feature was a bad case of measles is burned into my soul.
In one way, the whole of my writing life is encapsulated in Goblin Court, past and present.
Goblin Court was my second book and it is still, umpty um years later, a story that people email and talk to me about with real affection. That is like having a cat sit on your knee in front of a blazing fire at Christmas and purr hard — flattering, comforting, magical, a gift! In fact, it’s the best sort of gift that any author can have, I think. I am terribly grateful.
This post on Going Indie was originally a guest piece on Sue Moorcroft’s blog. Many thanks to her for letting us repost it here, complete with new thoughts, several months on…
Back in November 2015, I wrote:
Why go indie? At the risk of stating the obvious, I’d say the answer is freedom.
Freedom to ride off into the sunset. What’s not to like?
Here’s an example of independent author freedom in action. As originally published, in the Harlequin Undone! series of short ebooks, His Silken Seduction was well under 50 pages. That was the length the line required, so that was the length I wrote. Simples!
Almost a week into the knotty process of website creation and I’ve launched myself off the top of the ski-jump. I’m flying!
Mind you, the feathers on my wings are looking decidedly tatty and the wind is gusting so much under me that I’m being buffeted all over the place.
And it’s still a VERY long way down.
But at least the snow has stopped and I’m beginning to see my way to the other side of the valley. Sophie and I have been beavering away this week. Lots of page content is out of the egg incubator and in the bag — apologies for all my mixed metaphors — and the pages will be public pretty soon, we hope. Watch this space.
To brighten up this pic-free post, I’m pasting in my fabulous new Joanna Maitland logo which will appear as branding on all my self-published books. It was designed by Jane Dixon Smith and I really love it. Hope you do too.