Category Archives: ebooks

Characters have lives of their own

Hi

Today is 20 years since the first Harry Potter book was released…happy anniversary to JK Rowling and Harry.

My writing brain stays on almost constantly and can set me challenges I may want to  ignore at 5am!!

I have been known to come up with a plot twist whilst cleaning my teeth or in dreams and basics for articles for my clients can pop in to my head at the weirdest times. This is no 9-5 job! But that’s what I love about writing. Anytime, anywhere unexpected guests and developments arrive.

With fiction you aren’t so much in control of the work as the characters…I’m the ringmaster-lion tamer so the characters don’t run away with themselves but sometimes they write themselves slightly differently from the “plan.”

I may have spent time outlining the plot etc. and they go and rewrite it organically as if my imagination wasn’t the creator of both!!! Sam in Heads or Tails/Love Will Find a Way was originally intended to be sarcastic-cheeky but he wrote himself as a devious immoral b*****d. This made him stronger. A former neighbour proved to be the unconscious inspiration for the main character’s mother. This made her a lot more ridiculous and everyone knows someone like her.

The plot twist subsequently re-twisted. I liked that. An outline is good as a springboard but few of my fiction books have stuck to my plan…the characters got together and mutinied!

Some writers cry when they kill off their characters, they can say through them what they’d never dare say in real life, work through issues, and they can celebrate with their characters when they achieve their victories, large and small. This doesn’t mean we’re insane…we’re invested!

(The book I wrote when I was suffering from serious depression will never see the light of day…it’s pretty bleak.)

For me, after these good, bad and background characters form the centre of the world through the writing-editing and on to publishing, I let them go…toddling off in to the world to make their way to the readers imagination…and every reader will perceive them slightly differently thanks to their attitudes, perspectives and history. These guys are chameleons.

Hopefully, luckily, happily, a whole new set of characters, a plot and a new butterfly storm of ideas will happen in the most inconvenient but perfect ways…Writing is hard work but fabulous!

Love Will Find A Way: Scandal And Historical Romance by [Hayle, Joanne] 

Heads or Tails is the paperback version of the e-book Love Will Find a Way. Both available from Amazon. 

 

Advertisements

Review reviews

Hiya

board-1647322_640

I hope that everyone had a great summer/winter depending on where you are in the world. If your brain is misbehaving I sympathise and just keep going even when you really don’t want to/see the point. Keep walking towards sunrise. It’s beautiful when you reach it, promise.

First a brilliant quote I read from Joanne Harris, writer of Chocolat:

Depression is no more curable by saying it’s “all in the head” than cancer is by saying it’s “all in the cells.”

That lady talks sense…and writes great books!

I, unsurprisingly spent a lot of my time writing. I know, anyone would think I was a writer…oh yeah, I am! Lots of freelance work and regular work…happy, happy, on anti-depressants-happy! And grateful.

Also writing the next book:-)

Occasionally I look at reviews for my books on Amazon and Goodreads , not too often though because it can be a teeny weeny bit scary seeing what people think of your writing.

Guess what? There is no definitive rule about taste and reviews. For the same book I have had a 1* and 3* and a 5* so for any writers out there who get disheartened by reviews just remember that a review is someone’s opinion. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be respected but you can agree to disagree with someone’s opinion.

It’s very easy to read a review of your book that showers with praise and very tempting to kick the furniture when you see a less friendly one. A 1 star makes you want to shout “I put blood, sweat and tears in to this and you gave it a 1????” A 5 star lets you puff out your chest proudly in the knowledge that “someone appreciates talent/dedication/late nights and rewrites.”

 

tablet-1632908_640

My 5* counsellor led me to devise a system where when I read reviews, good, bad or indifferent, that I spend no more than 30 seconds reviewing the review. I assess whether there are useful points which would enhance the book or if I should agree to disagree. Then I move on. This means my emotional state doesn’t fluctuate with the reviews. I can be objective. Just think if mood was dependent on reviews, it’d be like being attached to an internal unpredictable bungee rope!

Happily, my brain is still healing and the progress is promising. I just have to remember not to make myself too busy, too under pressure and too focused on work. Relaxation and rest are important too! Who knew?

I have also enjoyed more reading time lately, currently reading Sabine Durrant’s new book Lie With Me and it’s very good so if you fancy a psychological thriller you shouldn’t be disappointed with this one.

Of course, being the history buff that I am I have been looking at a book by Anita Leslie on her great aunt Jennie Churchill, Winston’s mum.  Interesting, inside view of the family.

Happy rest of September and as the seasons change try to find the poetry in the moment.

Jo

TTC_TTTDay1

PS: If you’re giving a review please remember that there is normally a hard working person behind the book/piece so please be constructive, think helpful!

 

 

 

Reading and writing

Hi

I’ve been kept very busy recently with freelance work so thanks everyone, I think I’m becoming not quite expert in an expanding number of areas, but I love information and trivia so my brain is happy.

guardian-angel-674669_640

Excellent news is that I’m still kicking OCD’s butt, THANK GOD! Had an appt. with my therapist last week for the first time in a while and (not to tempt fate) my brain is mending and it’s definitley more recovered than recovering.

Funny isn’t it, how when you’ve been ill for a long time that when you are reminded that you’re ill it is almost odd? As I’ve been focusing on other things the realisation that my brain is still a little bit poorly actually felt strange…I’m more normal these days and less beseiged by OCD rituals and safety behaviours!

Excellent book – and no, I don’t know him, owe him or get paid to say this! but Matt Haig’s book is brilliant. Titled, Reasons to Stay Alive, it is worth reading whether you’ve been through depression, are going through it or want to understand what someone goes through. It’s got a ton of celeb endorsements too if you like reading those!

My Mary Queen of Scots book is still a work in progress but it will be out before the next millenium, honest!

Have a fab week and please remember to be kind to yourself.

Joanne

TTC_TTTDay1

 

 

Quick Plug!


Hi

I hope everyone is enjoying December, so far it’s been writing busy, fulfilling and with lovely surprises for me so that’s all good. Great start to the day, a Christmas story of mine will be used on Bedtime FM soon – thanks and Yay!

And this lovely tome went on sale on Amazon in paperback and Kindle this morning too. Another Yay and a Thank God! Some people have already bought it!!! It can be borrowed too – shameless plug moment!!

CJ

Here’s a little present from me to you…a senryu poem! I wrote this last Christmas time but it’s just as, if not more so, needed this year…

dove

“Wrote to Santa Claus

Asked for wars and hate to cease

A gift of world peace.”

Have a great, safe and full of love and peace week,  Joanne

Bonus flippant Yay…I’m a Celebrity is OVER!!!! not a lover of it, as you can tell.

 

 

Happy Friday

Hi peepsflies-161350_640

It’s Friday which means that the first weekend of October is almost here! Fetch me a fab book, my snuggly blanky…and hot chocolate with cute little marshmallows….wanders off in to a delicious daydream…

I’m back!

This week I’ve been working on a children’s story which fingers, eyes and toes crossed the client will like (pretty please!) and next I’m off in to article writing land to write 10 pieces. Research required, it helps if I know exactly what I’m talking about, apparently. Who knew?

I’m also working on another royalty quiz book which should be out before Halloween, I know that ghosts love a good quiz, they do, really.

In the dear old U.K. October means we will probably hear fireworks any time now, even though Bonfire Night is still over a month away, show a Brit a firework in a store and they will purchase and let it off, even sometimes at two in the morning, hmm thanks for that;0)

 

 

tree-200795_640

Final thought for the mo, please can we all tell the media to stop writing/speaking so negatively about mental health issues?

Very few people are about to become a danger to their communities, hey, some of us even know that as mental illness sufferers we are more susceptible to being the victims NOT the perpetrators of crime. It would be great if the people charged with the duty of informing viewers/readers (and the powers that be) could remember that before they fall in to stigmatisation yet again. Just saying, right that’s me off my soapbox and off to the land of cute article queen.

Have fun, stay safe and smile.(But never at a crocodile.)

Joanne

 

babsIn paperback and Kindle formats.

 

Made it to the weekend;-)

Hi peeps

smiley-822307_640

Enjoy your weekend and remember to relax, your brain works hard and it needs a break…give it a treat, make it smile.

I am forcing myself “Little Miss Workalot,” to take the rest of the weekend off, no popping on to the laptop for a “quick” write or plotting for the children’s book I’ll be working on next week, my brain is telling me it wants a short time out from work. In fact, I think it’ll probably ask for a lie in tomorrow morning!

The rugby world cup started last night so the TV and news is full of that and the Davis Cup tie of GB vs Australia is also happening as well as a gazillion football matches so if you’re a sporty bod you’ll be blissfully happy in Blighty…I’m not that sporty, don’t get me wrong, I respect the talent and appreciate the dedication of all concerned but I’d rather read a good book. (Or write one!)

Or should that be read two? Yet again, I am reading more than one at a time…a chapter of a history book followed by a chapter of a novel in rotation. That is unless a really page turning, “I can’t put this down unless you chop my hands off” good bit compels me to keep reading. Ahhh happy days! This is an embarrassment of riches I love.girl-308360_640

I’ve finished editing my book due for release 1st October and have done some freelance work this week and learned stuff while researching that I didn’t even know that I didn’t know that I would ever want to know.

Oh yes, and to the client who asked me to write an article about football betting strategies I had to respond that “a newborn baby has a better concept”of all that…see, told you I wasn’t sporty (and I have the coordination of a cross eyed bat. No, really!) I hope that he found someone that knew what the heck they’d be talking about.

Take care

Joanne

 

Time for a poem!

Hiya

I wrote this a while ago and reread it today, I thought that you might like to take a look….
ship-106566_640

Madeleine

Just minutes before she hit the merciless land

She glided majestically towards the sound

Her sails played in the off shore breeze, broadly fanned

Alas, too late the crew felt seawater turn to ground

I watched as the traumatised Madeleine went down

She stumbled as mocking cliffs towered over her

All Madeleine could do was acquiesce and drown

Surrender her soul to the sea bed below, cast aside despair

The crew tried all they could to save their sweetheart

But it counted for nought; she was incomplete, unable to compete

As saltwater suffocated, her deck woefully split, torn apart

Her timbers crack to the echo of nature’s heartbeat

There have been many Madeleine’s over the years

There will be many more in the centuries to follow

The cliffs respected the captain’s heroic lack of fear

Pragmatic, in sorrow our captain dared not wallow

Ashore, later we found a silver tankard belonging to Joe

He cared, this captain of the good ship Madeleine

From bow to stern she was his one true love

Together in the sea their wreckage remains

The mourning crew held the tankard aloft and offered a prayer

For Joe and his dear Madeleine lost to life on this coast

The orange sunset lent a golden glint to the lapping waves there

But the cliffs whispered of menace; spectres to their sea ghosts.

And a bonus senyru titled sculpting…I have under a thousand words to go until the “Ta dah! my book is finished moment…please see my last post if that meant nothing to you!;-)

smiles

Chapter edit day

My first draft infused with play

Sculpting words like clay.

Have a fab day

Joanne

All Change!

Hiya

primate-460871_640

OK peeps, step right up and call me a change-your-minder! (And no, this is not what I look like, well maybe it is before the first gallon of coffee a day!)

No, I’m not going to change YOUR mind, no need to hide behind the mouse mat, I have changed mine about my next book. (Some say it’s a woman’s prerogative)

Talking of changing minds, even with the “faulty” bits in mine I wouldn’t change my brain, I have far too much fun with it 😉 And intrigue and puzzlement and therapy!!

Anyway, I was going to write about Victoria, Prince Philip’s gran BUT despite writing the introduction and at least half of chapter one I was just not feeling it, the vavavoooooom didn’t fire up for this book so I’ve relegated it to the back burner for a future project. It’ll get written, just not right now.

A new history subject or person had to be found so I used up my brain energy thinking – sorry brain cells – and I’ve started a book called Charles II: The Merry Monarch, La Belle Stuart and The Uncrowned Queen about Charles, his most notorious mistress Barbara and Frances, the one that got away – a unique achievement given Charles’ reputation and zealous amorous advances.

I’ve even put this one on to pre-order on Amazon so it’ll make its debut on 20th October this year.

And I even managed to read about Florence Maybrick today too (google her!)…what a good day, hope you’re having a good one too, if not, tickle yourself on the tummy until you get the giggles!

Joannesmiley-822307_640

 

The longest day

Hi books

It’s the longest day of the year…the most daylight but apparently not the most sun today. Ah well. There’s a lot of cloud above my head right now so if anyone sees the sun can they tell it to shine over south west England, thanks!

I am having a full on glorious fabtastic no holds barred reading fiction day…trouble is, I’ve started two novels recently, Consider the Lily by Elizabeth Buchan and The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley and both are turning out to be fab.

I have toyed with reading one for a while then switching to the other and then back again – think hokey cokey with books – and reading a book with each eye isn’t working too well ha ha.

Have a great and hopefully relaxing day and even if today is midwinter for you and not midsummer I hope that you enjoy yourself…your summer is only a few months away!

Happy chillaxing peeps.

Joanne2015/01/img_5054-01.jpg

 

Time travel

couple-160379_640

 

Hi

I’ve just left Regency England after a day editing my book (The Royal Race Of 1818) so my mind is more Jane Austen than J.K. Rowling at the moment.

I am loving the history, the learning and writing to editing process, it’s like taking a loosely moulded bob of clay and crafting it with care in to a refined piece that people might just fingers crossed want to spend time with.

Actually, it’s just as well it isn’t clay I am totally rubbish at art – words yes, artistic doodlings and makings uh-oh no no. I admire the people who can.

I’ve been working indoors and it’s so warm and the sun is shining I have been hankering to get outside, you know, to do creativity al fresco but I know me – I’d get out there, think ooh it’s a bit breezy, too hot, the sun’s in my eyes or shhhh pesky kids playing down the road and the distractions would make me want to be inside in peace and solitude. Gotta love being human! So I’ve stayed in to save on movement effort.

Fab news: Banished some old items that reminded me of the era that triggered the OCD and post traumatic stress on Saturday, the refuse/garbage bods will take them away forever tomorrow…seeing them made me really sad but it was cathartic…more of the pain is out of my system. YAY.

sun-70832_640

 

Note to self: I must remember to hydrate…I get engrossed in work and forget that being parched is not a good thing. Thirsssstyyyyyy.

Another note to self: I deserve a cheeky takeaway tonight, I’ve decided.

 

Have a fab week,

Joanne